Salford City Reds look to slay Catalan Dragons after Magic Weekend thriller

By Ben Burrows

Salford City Reds host the Catalan Dragons tonight and are looking to build on last week’s Magic Weekend thrilling win over Huddersfield.

The Reds had gone six games without being on the winning side before toppling the Giants 38-34 in a topsy-turvy encounter at the Etihad.

Reds head coach Phil Veivers was delighted to get the win last week after going close on several occasions over recent weeks.

“It didn’t matter how it came. We were desperate for the two points and we played some attractive football to get those two points.

“You hope the turning point is there. I know for a fact that the players got a lot of confidence out of the win against Huddersfield.”

Catalan also picked up two vital points last weekend after a comfortable win over London Broncos.

“All this week, we’ve spoken about taking it on into the Catalan game,” he said. “They are extremely talented and gifted. They’ve got that many good players.”

Veivers has named the same matchday 19 as last weekend with outside back Ashley Gibson the only man to miss out.

On a more negative note, Veivers confirmed earlier this week that star scrumhalf Matty Smith is likely to move on when his contract expires in the summer.

The influential number 6 has been a standout performer for the Reds this season and his displays have attracted the attention of some of Super League’s big guns.

“He’s got four offers on the table, including Wigan and Saints, who I am pretty sure will be chasing trophies.”

He added: “I’m pretty sure he’s made his decision and I don’t think it will be with us.”

Dragons coach Trent Robinson has overseen an excellent 2012 campaign so far for his side with their 11 wins taking them to third in the ladder.

He has fullback Clint Greenshields, and forwards Jamal Fakir and Mathias Pala all missing this weekend but does welcome back forwards David Ferriol and Greg Mounis and centre Daryl Millard.

The Reds will have to be particularly wary of Leon Pryce who scored twice last weekend and his Australian halfback partner Scott Dureau.

Both have the ability to cause Veivers’ side problems but the Reds boss is more wary of the dangers posed by the French side’s enormous pack.

“They’ve a very big pack and every team that plays them knows they’ve been in a match,” he said.

“We’ve a small pack and we need to address how we handle them and how we play against them.”

Tickets are still available for tonight’s clash at Salford City Stadium via phone on 0800 888 0200.

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