|Salford (12) 32|
|Try: Sio 3, Croft, Ormondroyd Goals: Need 6|
|Catalans (6) 6|
|Try: Chan Goals: Tomkins|
Ken Sio’s hat-trick helped Salford beat the Catalan Dragons for the first time in four encounters as they superbly won 32-6 to move up to seventh in the Super League.
Joe Chan’s first try was nullified by two excellent tries from Sio as the Red Devils overcame a difficult first half start.
Salford absorbed huge pressure early in the second half before Brodie Croft went for his third try.
Sio got his third with 13 minutes left before Jack Ormondroyd’s late try.
The defeat means the Catalans squandered their chance to overtake Huddersfield to take third place in the Super League table, ahead of the Giants’ visit to Perpignan on Saturday.
Chan fired first blood for the Catalans after nine minutes with his first touch as he came late on Sam Tomkins’ spot-kick but Salford have chances to equalize as Tim Lafai and Croft miss good positions shortly thereafter.
But the hosts entered the table thanks to Sio’s 150th career try in the right corner, following an excellent pass from Mark Sneyd after 24 minutes.
The Catalans thought they had taken the lead after half an hour but Joe Burgess superbly put Matthieu Laguerre on the line as he looked certain to score, and five minutes later they were behind as Sio snatched the kick Ryan Brierley’s kick in the air and landed for his second before Sneyd kicked a penalty on the whistle.
The Dragons started the second half well, forcing seven successive sets of six past the Red Devils’ posts, but Salford defended superbly to keep the Catalans out in the extreme summer heat.
And the Catalans must have regretted the missed opportunity when quick thinking and excellent passing from hooker Andy Akers found Croft on pace before he exploded under the posts.
A second penalty from Sneyd gave Salford 14 points with 20 minutes remaining, before Sio kicked in his third after another good job from Brierley.
Brierley was once again at the center of the action as he snatched the ball in the air, exploded onto the pitch and set prop Ormondroyd to pass from 20 yards with six minutes left to end the game with a superb fifth try for Salford.
Salford head coach Paul Rowley told BBC Radio Manchester:
“I often tell players ‘you can’t be a cup six days and a champion the seventh’, and they’re not, they’re champions all week.
“It’s reflected in what they do on the pitch, and they went as a team and I think you saw the best example of culture and togetherness there has been all year.
“We defended seven sets on our own try line – our defense was called shaky, lacking spine and stuff last night, but that didn’t hit me today.”
Catalans Dragons head coach Steve McNamara:
“We’re a long way from where we want to be. Lately we’ve had a good time and we’re not where we want to be.
“As a head coach, I have to find the answers quite quickly. Our last two performances [against Warrington and Salford] on the back of a very good performance [against St Helens] is disappointing.
“But it’s not a specific area where we struggle, it’s all parts of our game. We need to catch our breath and get some good answers and get things sorted out quickly.”
Salford: Brierley, Sio, Cross, Lafai, Burgess, Croft, Sneyd, Lannon, Akers, Ormondroyd, Watkins, Taylor, Gerrard.
Trades : Lucley, Hellewell, Atkin, Addy.
Catalans: Tomkins, Laguerre, Langi, Whare, Yaha, Pearce, Drinkwater, Seguier, Jullien, Whitley, Goudemand, Da Costa, Bousquet.
Trades : May, Le Cam, Chan, Kasiano.
Arbitrator: Ben Thaler.
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