Salford keep top eight hopes with win over Catalan

Credit: PA

Stand-in coach Ian Watson saw Salford keep alive their slim Super League top eight hopes with a thrilling 18-14 victory against Catalans.

The Red Devils trailed 14-12 at the break and went ahead for the first time six minutes from the end of a closely-fought contest through Michael Dobson's second try after a sizzling break by Mason Caton-Brown.

Assistant boss Watson took charge with speculation over the future of Iestyn Harris who was officially on sick leave.

Watson's charges fell behind 12-0 to tries by Remi Casty and Louis Anderson before they were cancelled out by man of the match Niall Evalds and Dobson.

Salford offered free admission to fans and a crowd of 5,078 turned up to watch the Red Devils snatch a dramatic victory.

Zeb Taia was the latest Catalans casualty joining Vincent Duport, Todd Carney, Thomas Bosc, Willie Tonga and Michael Oldfield on the sidelines but Jeff Lima returned.

Olsi Krasniqi, the former London Brincos prop, made his debut for Salford with Adrian Morley, Lama Tasi, Tommy Lee and Cory Paterson injured and Greg Johnson and Rangi Chase also missing.

The Red Devils made a nightmare start, conceding a penalty for holding down and Casty plunging over from short range with Scott Dureau booting the conversion.

Catalans made the more confident start with Caton-Brown's quick thinking saving a try from a Dureau kick.

But then Anderson ploughed through Theo Fages to charge over after 16 minutes to open up a 12-0 lead.

When Salford did threaten the Dragons line, Elliott Whitehead came up with a thundering tackle.

It needed a touch of magic from Evalds to break the Catalans cover with a blistering run past two defenders for his 11th try of the season. Josh Griffin added the conversion.

The touchdown sparked new life into Salford with Logan Tomkins forcing Anderson to lose possession with a big hit.

The Red Devils bagged their second try when Krisnan Inu spilled Dobson's high kick and the scrum-half followed up to touch down in the corner with Griffin landing the difficult conversion to level the scores 12-12.

Catalans went in front 14-12 at half time thanks to a Dureau penalty.

The persistent rain eased early in the second half before Salford lost Weller Hauraki with concussion.

A high tackle by Antoni Maria on George Griffin gave brother Josh the chance to level the scores but he missed the penalty.

There were few chances for either side to score in an evenly matched second half until Salford went ahead for the first time.

Evalds fed Caton-Brown inside his own half and the winger streaked clear to draw Tony Gigot perfectly and send the supporting Dobson over for his second try with Griffin converting.