Super League: Salford Red Devils 32-16 Catalans Dragons

Greg Johnson scores for Salford
Greg Johnson (right) scored Salford's third try against Catalans Dragons
Betfred Super League
Salford Red Devils (12) 32
Tries: Bibby, Evalds, Johnson, Jones, Welham Goals: Lui 6
Catalans Dragons (4) 16
Tries: Yaha 2, Bird Goals: Gigot 2

Salford made it three successive home wins in Super League with victory over bottom-of-the-table Catalans Dragons.

Back-to-back tries from Jake Bibby and Niall Evalds gave Salford early control but Fouad Yaha replied to reduce Catalans' deficit to 12-4 at the break.

Greg Johnson extended the Red Devils' lead before Yaha went 90 metres to keep the Dragons in the contest.

Further tries from Josh Jones and Kris Welham eased Salford clear before Greg Bird's last-minute consolation score.

Bird's effort, with the final meaningful attack of the game, gave a flattering look to the scoreline for the visitors, who have now lost seven of their opening eight games this season under the leadership of former England coach Steve McNamara.

They struggled to create openings, with Yaha's first try coming when he touched down Tony Gigot's kick while the Red Devils had Weller Hauraki in the sin bin for a high shot on Samisoni Langi, while his second followed an interception near his own line.

After a scrappy opening, Salford seized control of the contest in the space of three first-half minutes when Evalds sent Bibby in at the corner before touching down under the posts himself from Rob Lui's pass.

Salford threatened to make hard work of their win at the start of the second half, but Johnson's score, at the end of a flowing move, eased their nerves.

And the efforts from Jones and Welham, plus 12 points from the boot of Lui, put the result beyond doubt.

Salford coach Ian Watson:

"We knew that they would come over here and challenge our middles so I'm really pleased that our pack stood up to the challenge.

"Josh Wood was really good, he's done a great job for us at nine and as a seven. He's been able to play in both positions to a high level.

"We had four players laid up earlier in the week, so for us to come out with a win in that game was a big result for us.

"With the short turn around on Monday we may make changes and though they will want to play on Monday, we may take the decision out of their hands."

Catalans coach Steve McNamara:

"Credit to Salford. They proved to be tough to beat but we beat ourselves. Penalties and handling errors are killing us.

"We're not in the best run of form at the moment but we're suffering from some basic errors like catching and passing the ball.

"We know it's not a case of sweeping everything out and starting again. We're not too far away from turning things around.

"We have to look at ourselves. The game is too difficult without giving ourselves further challenges like giving away penalties straight after tries."

Salford: Evalds,; Johnson, Sa'u, Welham, Bibby; Lui, Wood; Mossop, Tomkins, Kopczak, Jones, Hauraki, Flanagan.

Interchanges: Littlejohn, Nakubuwai, Tasi, Burgess.

Catalans: Tierney; Broughton, Mead, Wiliame, Yaha; Gigot, Langi; Casty, McIlorum, Bird, Garcia, Baitieri.

Interchanges: Aiton, Bousquet, Simon, Jullien.

Referee: Gareth Hewer.

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