Salford City Reds head coach Brian Noble hails Catalan win as best-ever since taking charge

By Mark Shales

Salford City Reds head coach Brian Noble believes Friday night’s triumph over Catalan Dragons was the best win of his three–month time in charge of the club.

Andrew Dixon, Danny Williams and Stephen Wild all touched down for the Reds who managed to hold out despite the Dragons scoring through Elliot Whitehead and Remi Casty.

And although not entirely satisfied with his side’s attacking display Noble praised his men’s resolve.

“The circumstances made it the best win since I took charge,” he said.

“The team’s had to go through an element of adversity and come under a lot of criticism but it was plain to see the pride and desire remained intact and we dug it out.

“We hung on really well but I thought we were the better team for 80 minutes. Our first-half performance and a lot of our second-half performance was great.

“But if we had executed better we would have scored a lot more points because we created  some opportunities on the fringe and it was only through poor skill that we didn’t get the points.”

Salford snatched the early advantage through Dixon inside four minutes, who crashed over at the right-hand corner following some quick hands from skipper Martin Gleeson.

Marc Sneyd added the extra two points but a number of poor handling errors for both teams contributed to a largely uneventful first 40 minutes.

Salford winger Williams ran over six minutes after the restart after some sharp passing across the park from the Reds’ midfield to extend the hosts’ lead.

But Whitehead wriggled through a gap in reply for the Dragons eight minutes later, before Thomas Bosc reduced the deficit to four points with a simple kick.

The Reds extended their lead again through former captain Stephen Wild who pounced onto a loose ball on 64 minutes before Sneyd doubled his tally of two-pointers.

But Catalans’ NRL-bound skipper Casty bulldozed through two minutes later, setting up a nervy final period that saw several players placed on report for a mass brawl.

Salford now sit three points above bottom-of-the-table London Broncos but with just five games reaming this season many thoughts have already turned to next year.

Hooker Wayne Godwin is one of number of players seeking out a contract extension, and Noble admitted those with points to prove had done no harm with the result.

“I’m weighing a few people up and there’s a few people in different categories,” he added.

“But the people who are playing for contracts have done their opportunities no harm with that performance.

“Even if it’s not our club they end up with it still shows they’re good players.”

Image courtesy of Salford City Reds via Vimeo, with thanks.

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