Four tries from Fouad Yaha condemned Salford Red Devils to a 44-10 defeat, as Catalans Dragons ran out comfortable winners at the Stade Gilbert Brutus.
Scores from Derrell Olpherts and Josh Wood weren’t enough for Salford to salvage any sort of result as a quadruple from in-form winger Yaha, along with two tries from Kenny Edwards and further scores from Jason Baitieri and Josh Drinkwater put the result beyond any doubt.
The hosts were in a rampant mood throughout the afternoon and took just six minutes to open the scoresheet. Brayden Williame broke clear before cleverly offloading out wide to the onrushing Yaha, who raced clear to claim the first of his four scores.
Drinkwater was unsuccessful from the resulting conversion, but he would add a further two points less than 10 minutes later though after landing a 14th minute penalty in front of the sticks.
The Red Devils responded well and offered some fierce tackles in defence, but the resurgence was to last a mere four minutes as Samisoni Langi broke clear of the line before flicking inside to Drinkwater to allow forge an unchallenged score.
Drinkwater added the first of his six goals but Salford’s efforts were to be rewarded almost immediately after. Dan Murray forced a Catalan error to earn Salford possession, before some quick hands from Jake Shorrocks and Wood put the ball on a plate for Olpherts to emphatically finish in the corner.
Ed Chamberlain was unsuccessful from the resulting conversion and things quickly worsened for Ian Watson’s men as Baitieri fought off several Salford defenders before surging over the whitewash.
The level of intensity shown by the hosts reflected the final outcome of the contest, and they found themselves in again for a second quick-fire try when Yaha collected a high ball before flicking inside to Edwards who slid in for the first of his brace.
Unfortunately for Salford, the French side didn’t show any signs of content when Yaha flew over in the corner after Williame picked him out with a scooped pass.
Yaha has been the standout performer throughout the contest, just seven minutes had passed in the second period when 21-year-old made two tries in three minutes to secure a sublime quadruple and round-off a fine individual display.
Salford shows level of grit throughout the second period. Watson introduced Niall Evalds to the action after a nine-week spell on the sidelines, and the 24-year-old was the spearhead of the Red Devils’ attacking plays for the remainder of the tie.
Almost 20 minutes worth of pressure paid dividends midway through the half when Josh Jones produced one of the offloads of the season to enable Wood to spin past the Dragons defence to touch down.
Chamberlain added the extras but the hosts completed the victory with 12 minutes remaining when Edwards touched down for his second, before Drinkwater landed the subsequent goal.
Catalans Lineup: Gigot; Tierney, Mead, Wiliame, Yaha; Langi, Drinkwater; Simon, McIlorum, Moa, Jullien, Garcia, Casty.
Interchanges: Anderson, Bousquet, Baitieri, Edwards.
Salford Lineup: Chamberlain; Bibby, Jones, Sa’u, Olpherts; Lui, Shorrocks; Tasi, Wood, Mossop, Lannon, Nakubuwai, Murray.
Interchanges: Evalds, McCarthy, Nzoungou, Burke.
Catalans Scorers: Tries- Yaha (6′, 38′, 44′, 47′), Drinkwater (18′), Baitieri (32′), Edwards (34′, 68′) | Goals- Drinkwater (6/9)
Salford Scorers: Tries- Olpherts (20′), Wood (62′) | Goals- Chamberlain (1/2)
Man of the Match: Derrell Olpherts
Referee: Scott Mikalauskas.
Touch Judges: D. Bowmer & L. Rush.
Video Referee: Robert Hicks.