Catalans Dragons climbed off the bottom of the table with a 26-6 win over Salford Red Devils at Magic Weekend.
Jodie Broughton scored a second-half hat-trick as the Dragons claimed their first Super League win of the season in England, and a first Magic victory at Newcastle.
Despite making a bright start, the Red Devils lacked an attacking edge throughout the game, possibly due to the rustiness of Robert Lui, who has been missing in recent weeks. However, coach Ian Watson will have been displeased by their lack of urgency and endeavour towards the end of the game.
Nevertheless, Steve McNamara’s side thoroughly deserved the victory and showed glimpses of fluidity and cohesion rarely seen throughout the whole of 2018.
Salford dominated the first ten minutes of the contest, and almost got the first points when Derrell Olpherts was played in at the corner, but the try was ruled out by the video referee for an offside.
They took the lead shortly after though, with Mark Flanagan offloading to Weller Hauraki to score.
Back-to-back penalties allowed Catalans into the game, and they took advantage with Josh Drinkwater playing in Benjamin Garcia, who after much deliberation from the video ref was ruled to have grounded the ball.
They took the lead when Logan Tomkins failed to claim a grubber kick and allowed Julian Bousquet a simple touchdown, and Garcia almost got his second from another kick but couldn’t ground, as the Dragons went into the break with a four-point lead.
The first half was relatively even but the second was anything but, as Catalans took complete control.
Broughton won them the game with his three tries in less than 15 minutes. The first came from a neat move left with Brayden Wiliame slipping him in, while the second was made by a delicious offload out the back by Josh Drinkwater which sent him clear.
He then completed his treble thanks to a perfect chip by Gigot over the defence to allow him to score the try that put the contest to bed.
Salford’s game was summed up by a knock on by Craig Kopzcak with the line begging after a very kind bounce, and although George Griffin found a gap to score with five minutes to go, it was too little too late.
Man of the Match – Jodie Broughton
Jodie Broughton has now scored back-to-back hat-trick, having repeated the feat last Saturday against Whitehaven in the Challenge Cup.
The addition of Lewis Tierney will have intensified competition on the flanks, which may have meant that the 30-year old has had to up his game.
With the likes of Fouad Yaha waiting in the wings for their chance in the first team, Broughton and his fellow finishers need to be producing the goods, and two wins in a row suggest that they are doing just that. Maybe the tide is beginning to turn down in Perpignan.
Salford Red Devils 12
Tries: Hauraki, Griffin
Goals: Lui 2
Drop Goals: n/a
Catalans Dragons 26
Tries: Broughton 3, Garcia, Bousquet
Goals: Gigot 3
Drop Goals: n/a
Salford: Evalds; Johnson, Welham, Sa’u, Olpherts; Lui, Littlejohn; Kopczak, Tomkins, Mossop; Griffin, Hauraki, Flanagan.
Interchanges: Tasi, McCarthy, Wood, Murphy.
Catalans: Gigot; Broughton, Mead, Williame, Tierney; Bird, Drinkwater; Simon, McIlorum, Moa; Jullien, Garcia, Casty.
Interchanges: Anderson, Bousqeut, Baitieri, Maria.
Referee: Gareth Hewer