|Betfred Super League|
|Catalans Dragons (28) 44|
|Tries: Yaha 4, Drinkwater Baitieri, Edwards 2 Goals: Drinkwater 6|
|Salford Red Devils (4) 10|
|Tries: Olpherts, Wood Goals: Chamberlain|
Fouad Yaha scored four tries as Catalans Dragons confirmed their place in the Super 8s by romping to victory over lowly Salford Red Devils.
Brayden Williame teed up Yaha for the first try and Josh Drinkwater finished off a slick move for the second.
Derrell Olpherts crossed in the corner as Salford replied but further scores by Yaha, Jason Baitieri and Kenny Edwards built a 28-4 half-time lead.
Yaha sealed his treble and slid in for a fourth to ensure the win.
A clever spin and score by Josh Wood, which was converted by Ed Chamberlain, got the visitors to double figures, but a simple converted try allowed Edwards to round off the scoring with his second.
Second-from-bottom Salford, who are now winless in four games, were already out of the running for a place in the top eight and put up little resistance in Perpignan.,
Catalans’ victory means current Super League champions Leeds, who thrashed bottom-of-the-table Widnes 34-0 on Friday, can only reach the Super 8s if eighth-placed Wakefield slip up in their remaining two matches.
The Wildcats are a point ahead of ninth-place Leeds with a game in hand and will be certain of securing their place if they beat Hull FC on Sunday.
A Wakefield win would mean the Rhinos will find themselves in the Qualifiers and having to fight for their Super League spot for the second time in three seasons.
Catalans coach Steve McNamara: “I’m relieved that we finally know it’s done. It’s been a long road for us so far this season.
“The start put us under tremendous pressure but the response from the playing group and the staff has been incredible to be honest.
“Winning was all that mattered [to secure the top-8 finish]. I’ve got to pay tribute to the whole squad and the staff. We thought we’d have to win eight out of 12 games and we’ve actually won eight and draw one out of eleven and we still have one to go.”
Salford Red Devils head coach Ian Watson: “Catalans are a good team at home, everyone knows that.
“They’ve rebuilt half way through the year with Josh Drinkwater coming in and on the back of that you can see what he adds to the Catalans, his kicking game particularly. He’s killed us out there.
“The game was nip and tuck and at 10-4 we were kind of getting back into that arm wrestle and then we had to defend five sets back to back and they capitalised. They scored a bit of a scrappy try and we didn’t really get it back from there.”
Catalans: Gigot, Tierney, Mead, Wiliame, Yaha, Langi, Drinkwater, Simon, McIlorum, Moa, Jullien, Garcia, Casty.
Replacements: Anderson, Bousquet, Baitieri, Edwards.
Salford: Chamberlain, Olpherts, Sa’u, Jones, Bibby, Lui, Shorrocks, Tasi, Wood, Mossop, Lannon, Nakubuwai, Murray.
Replacements: Evalds, McCarthy, Nzoungou, Burke.