With Castleford Tigers having just gone down at St Helens, the Red Devil's had a chance to join the Tigers and the Rhinos at the top of the table on sixteen points. A win for the Dragons would take them above Wakefield Trinity into sixth spot in the table as they continue to seek some consistency in their form.
It was a glorious evening in the south of France and the Red Devil's were taking things seriously, arriving yesterday to give themselves plenty of preparation time as they looked for their eighth win of the season in their quest for a top four spot.
It was a high octane opening nine minutes from both sides which culminated in Vincent Duport muscling his way to the line over the top of two Devils defenders to stretch and score in the left corner. Luke Walsh kicked brilliantly from the touchline for a 6-0 home lead.
In the heat it was a brutal battle with casualties left, right and centre.
On the half hour mark Louis Anderson lost the ball as he went for the line. The ball bounced backwards and Duport got his hand on the loose ball to ground. After consulting the video referee the try was awarded. Walsh was again accurate with the boot for 12-0.
When Salford held on too long in the tackle Walsh kicked a thirty-seventh minute penalty for a fourteen point half time lead.
The Catalans put the game beyond Salford on fifty when Krisnan Inu took a Richie Myler high kick to stroll over the line. Walsh added the extras leaving the Red Devils needing four scores.
It took an hour of the game for the Red Devils to get their first try of the game and it was a spectacular one as Justin Carney took a kick on his own line and run the length of the field to outpace the chasers to score. Gareth O'Brien kicked the extra two.
Within two minutes and the Dragons struck again. A high kick from Luke Walsh took a cruel bounce away from the Devils defence and straight into the hands of a chasing Myler to run the remaining fifteen metres to score. Walsh kicked the extras for 26-6.
A wayward Robert Luí pass was intercepted by Dragon Tony Gigot on his own twenty and the full-back went eighty metres to score by the right corner flag. Walsh pushed the conversion across the front of the posts but at 30-6 it had been a great afternoon for the Dragons.
A sixty-seventh minute Walsh drop goal added insult to injury, and he wore a wide grin a couple of minutes later when he added another for 32-6.
A seventy-sixth minute Thomas Bosc kick to the corner was collected by Duport for his hat-trick try as he evaded the Red Devils defenders. Tony Gigot converted from wide left for 38-6 and a comprehensive Catalan victory.
This was a return to form for the Dragons who served notice to the rest of Super League that perhaps they've woken from their early season slumbers.
It's now six trips to Perpignan without a win, and the biggest defeat of the season for the Red Devils. Rather than going level at the top they will have to settle for third place for now, and will need to regroup ahead of Saturday's test in the Challenge Cup against the all-conquering Toronto Wolfpack.
Gigot (T, G), Duport (3T), Inu (T), Thornley, Yaha, Walsh (5G, 2DG), Myler (T), Moa, Aiton, Casey, Anderson, Horno, Garcia. Subs: Bosquet, Bosc, Simon, Margalet.
O'Brien (G), Johnson, Welham, Sau, Carney J. (T), Carney T., Dobson, Walne, Tomkins, Tasi, Jones, Flanagan, Krasniqi. Subs: Luí, Kopczak, Griffin, Lannon