Salford Red Devils produced some heroic defending in their 32-6 victory over Catalans Dragons in Round 19 of the Betfred Super League.
Paul Rowley’s side showed plenty of attacking flair, but one particular highlight of the game was a period of play where the team defended seven sets on their own try-line just after half-time. Down the other end, Ken Sio was at his thrilling best on the wing and Salford scored five tries in the AJ Bell sunshine.
It was actually a cagey opening five minutes, with both teams trying to work one another out, but it was Joe Chan who opened the scoring for the visitors – latching onto a Sam Tomkins’ grubber kick.
From then on, the Red Devils got on the ball and started to make things happen. After a sustained period of pressure, Salford switched the play right and Sio was able to acrobatically touch down his 150th career try.
There was more incisive play minutes later, with Ryan Brierley’s intelligent grubber kick the architect of another try from Sio in the right corner. And just before the hooter, Marc Sneyd was able to add two more after Catalans conceded a foul 10 metres out.
HALF-TIME: Salford Red Devils 12-6 Catalans Dragons
The Red Devils did not see the ball for 10 minutes after the break, but some resolute defending stopped the Dragons from clawing their way back into the game.
After all that defending in the baking sun, Andy Ackers produced a smart piece of play from the play-the-ball and broke the Catalans’ defensive line. Delaying his pass until the very last second, he spotted a late run from Brodie Croft, who had the simple task of sliding under the sticks.
Sneyd converted another penalty goal moments later and Salford had certainly found their groove. An overload on the right was a common theme and it allowed Sio to dive over for his hat-trick in the 67th minute.
Salford were cruising towards victory and Brierley’s lightning break was well supported by Jack Ormondroyd, who bounced off the last Catalans defender and slid over the try-line.
FULL-TIME: Salford Red Devils 32-6 Catalans Dragons
Salford: Brierley, Sio, Cross, Lafai, Burgess, Croft, Sneyd, Lannon, Ackers, Ormondroyd, Watkins, Taylor, Gerrard, Atkin, Hellewell, Luckley, Addy.
Catalans: Tomkins, Laguerre, Langi, Whare, Yaha, Pearce, Drinkwater, Goudemand, Da Cost Eiras, Bousquet, Whitley, Julien, Seguier, Le Cam, May, Chan, Kasiano.
Salford tries: Sio (24′, 35′, 67′), Croft (55′), Ormondroyd (74′)
Salford goals: Sneyd (4/5)
Salford penalty goals: Sneyd (2/2)
Catalans tries: Chan (8′)
Catalans goals: Tomkins (1/1)
Referee: Ben Thaler
Image credit: Steve McCormick