Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
4 days ago
The Dragons? maiden season in the league has been a tough one but after a five-try rout of Salford, they are now strongly placed to finish the campaign above the Wakefield Wildcats who were comprehensively beaten by Bradford on Friday.
David Waite?s team took an early grip on proceedings at the Stade Aime Giral.
Australian Chris Beattie crossed for the game?s opening try in the 12th minute after good work by Stacey Jones, and Jones duly kicked the extras, to give the Dragons the start they wanted.
Sean Rudder, another Australian, ran in the second 10 minutes later as Salford - who came into the match in a healthy sixth place - found the going tough.
Again Jones kicked the goal as the home side gave themselves a 12-point cushion early in the match.
When New Zealand superstar Jones crossed for the third Dragons try, and booted his third goal, there seemed little doubt where the points were going.
Justin Murphy became the third Australian to touch down when he added the fourth Catalans try in the 61st minute, and his second score arrived 12 minutes later to put the seal on a handsome victory.
Between his tries, prop Andy Coley scored a consolation try for Salford - and David Hodgson added the extras. But it was largely a grim night for the English visitors to Perpignan as the Dragons produced some of their best rugby of the year.
Catalans Dragons (18) 26 Tries: Beattie, Rudder, Jones, Murphy 2. Goals: Jones 3
Salford (0) 6 Tries: Coley. Goals: Hodgson.
Catalans Dragons: Guigue, Murphy, Wilson, Hughes, Verges, Rudder, Jones, Beattie, Teixido, Chan, Guisset, Hindmarsh, Mounis. Replacements: Fellous, Fakir, Griffi, Rinaldi.
Salford: Hodgson, Langi, McGuinness, Moule, Wilshere, Dunemann, Robinson, Lima, Alker, Rutgerson, Coley, Littler, Charles. Replacements: Fitzpatrick, Gower, Haggerty, Highton.
Referee: P Taberner (RFU)