Salford Red Devils were beaten by Betfred Super League leaders, Catalans Dragons in Round 20 this afternoon.

It was one to forget for Paul Rowley’s men, who remain in seventh place – two points behind Hull KR in the final playoff spot.

Despite holding our own for large periods of the opening exchanges, it was Adam Keighran who began the scoring on 19 minutes.

Working the short side, a neat grubber kick allowed the Aussie half-back to slam down.

Ben Hellewell made a nice break – as the Red Devils attempted to regroup – but after a few offloads, Brodie Croft’s high kick was well-claimed by the Catalans defender.

They powered forward and – via a few set restarts – sent Keighran on the end of another grubber kick.

There were flashes throughout the game that suggests Salford could have got some points on the board at crucial times.

Chris Atkin’s spiral bomb and Ryan Brierley’s quick chase forced Sam Tomkins into the error – allowing us a full set on the hosts 10 metre line.

Trying to pick up the pace, Atkin’s short pass was too low for Hellewell to steal a march.

Catalans were getting some joy from the boot and this time it was the league’s top try-scorer, Tom Johnstone, who managed to ground in the very left corner.

There was still time left in the half for another, with Tyrone May skipping inside his man to crash over.

HALF-TIME: Catalans Dragons 22-0 Salford Red Devils

Keighran began the second-half by slotting a penalty-goal after Dixon hit his man high.

The same source turned creator for the next try; working the numbers and releasing Johnstone to slide over in the corner.

It was 6 & 7 – Mitchell Pearce and May – who combined next, with Tiaki Chan in support to flick a pass and extend the advantage.

Croft was showing signs of life and made a darting run through the defence to set up Burgess. He was caught, but Tom Davies was penalised and sent to the sin bin for holding down.

Sam Tomkins added two more – with Keighran off the field – after Salford were penalised in front of the sticks.

Romain Navarrete was the final one to break through on 75 minutes, setting up Tomkins to slide over under the sticks.

Next up for Paul Rowley’s men is the visit of World Champions, St Helens on Sunday afternoon.

FULL-TIME: Catalans Dragons 42-0 Salford Red Devils