Rugby League: Paris no match for Salford

Salford 48 Paris St-Germain 6
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The Independent Online
Paris arrived late at the Willows and, with many players looking as though they were ready for home, failed to make any sort of contest of their Premiership tie against Salford.

The club's band of itinerant Australians seemed as though they felt their job had been done when they secured Paris's survival in Superleague.

Faced with little challenge, Salford had the game won within the first 25 minutes, when their first five tries saw them score at virtually a point a minute. Darren Rogers began the rout, timing his run to beat a lethargic Paris defence to Mark Lee's kick at the corner.

The Salford full back, Gary Broadbent, then underlined his standing as one of the best buys of the season, twice in the space of four minutes setting up tries with his ability to join the line. Steve Blakeley was the recipient on the first occasion, quickly followed by Nathan McEvoy.

John Cartwright was the next to take advantage of some shoddy Paris defence, finding a way over from dummy half. Salford's relentless opening assault was completed when Jason Martin dropped the ball on a rare Paris attack, Esene Faimalo ran it back 60 yards upfield and Scott Naylor arrived in support to finish the move.

Salford eased off visibly after that and even presented Paris with a gift try when a fumble allowed Fabian Devecchi to pick up and scoot over.

After the break the home side recovered their good habits to some extent, Blakeley, who also finished with six goals to bring his tally for the season to 99, grabbing a try from a ricochet and then providing a precise pass for Cartwright to charge over for his second. The Salford substitute, David Hulme, then claimed a swift double, taking passes from Lee and Scott Martin.

Andy Goodway, the Paris and now Great Britain coach, turned down Salford's kind offer of a video of the match; it would have told him nothing he did not already know. "It was a match too many for a side that has been struggling at the bottom of the table all year," he said. "A play-off for all 12 clubs is not viable."

Salford; Broadbent; Sini, Naylor, McAvoy, Rogers; Blakeley, Lee; Platt, Edwards, Savelio, Cartwright, Faimalo, Forber. Substitutes used: S. Martin, Hulme, Burgess, Southern.

Paris: Hyde; Devecchi, Chamorin, Evans, Mahony; J Martin, Bergman; Taylor, O'Donnell, Priddle, Peters, Hancock, Lomax. Substitutes used: Hogue, Cabextany.

Referee: R Smith (Castleford).