The 2020 Coral Challenge Cup Quarter-Finals kicked off as Catalan Dragons and Salford Red Devils clashed at the Totally Wicked Stadium.
The Dragons started the fastest following early errors from the Red Devils.
A sweeping move from right to left created a two-on-one for Samisoni Langi and Fouad Yaha to exploit and the winger dotted down to open the score.
In the 15th minute, Salford were penalised in the middle of the field.
This allowed James Maloney to add the two points and shift the Dragons into a six-nil lead.
Just after the 20-minute mark, six, soon became 12.
Maloney took the ball at first receiver and ran at a huge gap in the Salford defence for the second try.
Five minutes later, Good footwork from Krisnan Inu attracted three defenders to the tackle, which he rode to then offload to Dan Sarginson to touch down in the corner.
Inu then turned scorer as the Red Devils pushed the ball out to the winger following a scrum.
Inu, with just Lewis Tierney to beat, pushed his opposite number away and dove over to score.
After Salford’s small spell of dominance, the Dragons marched back up field and looked to break once again, but Micky McIlorum’s pass to Remi Casty was forward.
The Red Devils had the ball in hand in the final minute, but Lolohea’s kick was tapped behind the dead-ball line by Yaha for the break.
HALF-TIME: Catalans Dragons 12-10 Salford Red Devils
Pauli Pauli opened the second half action with a huge tackle on James Maloney.
Which was high with a swinging arm resulting in a yellow card for the big Salford man.
With the man advantage, Tomkins sent Langi crashing over, but Rhys Williams did enough to hold the centre off the floor.
On the very next tackle, Israel Folau tapped back Maloney’s crossfield kick and Tierney picked up the loose ball to dot down.
However, on second viewing Folau’s tap went forward and the score remained 12-10.
With just under half an hour to go, the Dragons finally managed to extend their lead after some intense pressure.
The ball was shifted to Matt Whitley and the second-rower showed good strength to beat the defence and drop over the line.
Just before the hour mark, Salford hit straight back.
A short pass from Joey Lussick was gathered by James Greenwood who managed to keep his ball-carrying arm off the floor and stretch out to ground the ball.
With 15 minutes left, it looked as though Salford took the lead after Lolohea’s kick wasn’t claimed by Tomkins in the air and Inu picked up the loose ball and grounded.
However, Inu was deemed to have come from an offside position and the Dragons still led by two.
With ten minutes remaining, the game could have swung in either direction, but it was the Red Devils who struck first.
Sam Kasiano was penalised for an infringement in the ruck, and with it being multiple penalties from the big man, he found himself in the sin-bin.
Inu converted the penalty to level the scores, and Salford were a man up with four minutes remaining.
Krisnan Inu attempted two drop-goals but missed both, meaning the game went to Golden Point.
FULL-TIME: Catalans Dragons 18-18 Salford Red Devils
Less than two minutes into Golden Point, the Red Devils decided not to push for the one-pointer and spread the ball left, which found Dan Sarginson in open space and the full-back ran around to score the winning try.
GOLDEN-POINT FULL-TIME: Catalans Dragons 18-22 Salford Red Devils
Tomkins, Tierney, Langi, Folau, Yaha, Drinkwater, Maloney, Casty, Garcia, Whitley, Moa, McIlorum, Bousquet
Interchanges: Jullien, Goudemand, Baitieri, Kasiano
Tries: Yaha, Maloney, Whitley
Goals: Maloney (3/4)
Salford Red Devils
Sarginson, Inu, Welham, Watkins, Williams, Lolohea, Brown, Dudson, Lussick, Yates, Greenwood, McCarthy, Flanagan
Interchanges: Pauli, Ikahihifo, Burke, Kear
Tries: Sarginson (2), Inu, Greenwood
Goals: Inu (3/4)
Referee: B. Thaler
Touch Judges: D. Bowmer, J. Roberts
Video Referee: T. Grant
Image Source: @TheParraEels (twitter)