Super League: Catalans Dragons 38-6 Salford Red Devils
|Betfred Super League|
|Catalans (14) 38|
|Tries: Duport 3, Inu, Myler, Gigot Goals: Walsh 6 Drop-goals: Walsh 2|
|Salford (0) 6|
|Tries: J Carney Goals: O'Brien|
Salford's five-match winning run came to an end at the Stade Gilbert Brutus as Catalans Dragons claimed their third victory on the trot.
Two converted first-half tries from winger Vincent Duport, allied to a penalty from Luke Walsh, earned a 14-0 Dragons lead at the break in Perpignan.
The hosts scored four second-half tries through Krisnan Inu, Richie Myler, Tony Gigot and Duport, for his hat-trick.
Salford's only reply came from Justin Carney's second-half breakaway try.
Gareth O'Brien added the extras, but Salford were well beaten, Australian Walsh converting five of his side's tries, as well as adding two late drop-goals to his earlier penalty, for a 14-point individual haul.
Following their 12-6 Good Friday local derby win over Leigh, Salford had two days' less rest than their opponents, who won 29-22 at Huddersfield on Wednesday night.
The Red Devils brought in Aussie Todd Carney, making his first start for Salford against his old club, but their task was made more difficult with the loss of first Logan Tomkins (concussion) and then Junior Sa'u (adductor) through injury.
Only briefly did they entertain any hope of a comeback when, on the hour mark, another Catalans kick to the right was plucked out of the air by Justin Carney, who raced 100 metres to score.
But, just three minutes later, Walsh's kick downfield sat up and evaded O'Brien and bounced perfectly into the hands of the chasing Myler.
Gigot then scored his third try in as many appearances when he intercepted Robert Lui's pass and raced 70 metres to score before the oddity of two late Walsh drop-goals when the game was already won, followed by Duport's hat-trick try, from Thomas Bosc's kick to the left corner.
Catalans head coach Laurent Frayssinous:
"I'm pleased with the last few weeks and especially tonight with our defence. That was our best performance of the season in defence.
"I know that Salford played on Friday and there was some tiredness there but we did our job, which is really pleasing. Like every team in the competition, we have our bruises and our injury problems but I'm really pleased with how the squad is reacting and putting their hands up to play for us.
"We lost Justin Horo in the second half with an Achilles problem. I feared the worst when I saw it, but the medical staff don't think it is a rupture, And Krisnan Inu played with a sore knee too after he picked up a knock in the Huddersfield game. It is a credit to him for putting his hand up to play."
Salford head coach Ian Watson:
"Tiredness affected us massively. There were points in the game where it was there to be won and we just didn't have that little bit of energy.
"To be fair, it's not why we've lost the game and we won't make a big deal of it. Catalans did a great job. They played really well. They played smart at certain times.
"But to ask professional athletes to have a two-day recovery and travel for over 10 hours, get here late at night, then go and compete against professional athletes who have had a five-day turnaround, then the RFL need to have a look at themselves really and what they've made us do."
Catalans: Gigot; Duport, Inu, Thornley, Yaha; Walsh, Myler; Garcia, Anderson, Horo, Moa, Casty, Aiton.
Replacements: Bousquet, Bosc, Simon, Margalet.
Salford: O'Brien; Johnson, Welham, Sa'u, J Carney; T Carney, Dobson; Walne, Tomkins, Tasi, Jones, Flanagan, Krasniqi.
Replacements: Lui, Kopczak, Griffin, Lannon.
Referee: Phil Bentham (RFL).