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Page last updated at 16:15 GMT, Sunday, 11 September 2011 17:15 UK

Salford 18-44 Catalan Dragons

Salford (12) 18
Tries: Williams 2, Adamson
Goals:
Holdsworth 3
Catalan Dragons (18) 44
Tries: Sa 2, Menzies, Paea, Bosc, Henderson
Goals: Dureau 6, Bosc 2

View of north stand at The Willows
The record attendance at The Willows was 26,470 for a Challenge Cup clash with neighbours Warrington in 1937

Catalan Dragons spoiled the party by winning 44-18 in the final game at The Willows as Salford bowed out from their home of 110 years with a heavy defeat.

Seitmaita Sa ran in two tries, while Steve Menzies and Lopeni Paea crossed too, as did fit-again stand-off Thomas Bosc on his first start since May, Scott Dureau kicking six goals.

Winger Danny Williams scored twice for Salford to make it eight in four games.

Luke Adamson got the Reds' other try, Daniel Holdsworth kicking three goals.

Salford were looking to make it a double over the Dragons, having been one of the few teams to have come away from the South of France with a result this season, winning 22-10 in Perpignan in March.

But the Catalans had taken the spoils on their two previous visits to The Willows, Salford having not beaten them at home since March 2007. And, with Bosc fit in time for the play-offs, having recovered from the dislocated kneecap he suffered in May to add to two conversions to his late try, the French side appear to have found form at the right time.

Victory was not enough to overhaul Leeds but a sixth-place finish in Trent Robinson's first season in charge is a major improvement on the wooden spoon they collected 12 months ago under his predecessor Kevin Walters.

And, after ending their run of three straight defeats, which cost them a top four finish, the Catalans can now go now into next Saturday's elimination play-off against Hull KR in Perpignan (17 September, 1845 BST) in good heart.

That is a quick chance to avenge their 30-28 defeat in their last match at the Gilbert Brutus Stadium just a fortnight ago.

It might have been a disappointing end for Salford at The Willows, but they were at least watched by their record Super League crowd of 10,146.

The attendance was almost 2,000 up on their previous summer best set in 1997 as fans flocked to witness the last match at the famous old ground.

Players need to be accountable. Unfortunately that performance and some of the individual performances are way off the pace

Salford coach Matt Parish

The Reds, who will move to the new community stadium at Barton in 2012, held a parade of legends, including Mike Coulman, Dave Watkins and Paul Charlton, before kick-off but the present-day players were unable to provide a fitting send-off.

Salford, who had Warrington-bound Stefan Ratchford and Australians Ray Cashmere and Mark Henry playing their final games for the club, were competitive for an hour.

But they conceded three tries in the last quarter after forward Ryan Boyle had been sent to the sin bin - to leave new coach Matt Parish with a record of just one win from his first six matches in charge.

He has so far recruited Shannan McPherson (South Sydney), Ben Gledhill (Wakefield) and Jordan James (Crusaders).

And, despite suffering a major ankle injury Down Under in New Zealand Warriors' play-off defeat by Brisbane on Saturday, Joel Moon is scheduled to arrive too.

But Parish admits that the Reds still need a major overhaul.

POST-MATCH VERDICTS

Salford coach Matt Parish:

"I'm extremely disappointed with the performance on such a big occasion. I'm shattered for the fans that turned up. They deserved a lot better, particularly in the second half.

"It shows we're a long way off the pace at the moment. We struggle to put back-to-back performances together.

"I'm not going to hide my disappointment and I'm not going to gloss over it. Today was a fantastic occasion and it was an honour and a privilege to be part of it. I'm not sure some of those players appreciated it. Unfortunately that performance and some of the individual performances are way off the pace.

"We need to get our recruitment right. In my opinion we are still four players short.

"I've already spoken to Joel Moon. He's had a screw put in his ankle but he'll be ready to go next year."

TEAMS

Salford: Patten; Broughton, Gibson, Gleeson, Williams; Ratchford, Holdsworth; Cashmere, Smith, Boyle, Henry, L Adamson, Wild.

Replacements: Godwin, Neal, Paleaaesina, Jewitt.

Sin bin: Boyle (64).

Catalan Dragons: Greenshields; Blanch, Millard, Sa, Vaccari; Bosc, Dureau; Ferriol, Henderson, Paea, Menzies, Casty, Mounis.

Attendance: 10,146.

Replacements: Raguin, Fakir, Baitieri, Pelissier.

Referee: Thierry Alibert (Toulouse).



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see also
St Helens 31-6 Salford
02 Sep 11 |  Rugby League
Catalan Dragons 28-30 Hull KR
03 Sep 11 |  Rugby League
Catalan Dragons 10-22 Salford
26 Mar 11 |  Rugby League
Rugby League on the BBC
15 Oct 10 |  Rugby League
Rugby league commentaries
03 Apr 10 |  Rugby League


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