Josh Griffin scored a hat-trick of tries as Salford comfortably booked their place in the last 16 of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup with a 50-14 victory over part-timers Hunslet at the South Leeds Stadium.
The Red Devils suffered a surprise defeat to Leigh in the fifth round last year but were never in danger of suffering the same fate against League One opponents with just one win to their name so far this year.
Salford, who rested six regulars and gave a debut to forward Matt Haggarty, never looked back after scoring three tries in the first 10 minutes, although Hunslet battled manfully to the end and scored three tries against their Super League opponents.
The Red Devils’ superior class told after only three minutes when stand-off Robert Lui, fresh from his destruction of champions Leeds, split the Hawks defence to get loose forward Ryan Lannon over for the first of their nine tries.
Three minutes later Griffin worked Jake Bibby over at the corner for a try on his first appearance of the season and the Hunslet defence cracked again when second rower Matt Sarsfield popped the ball out of the tackle for Dobson to get Griffin over for his first try.
Trailing 16-0, the League One side were in danger of being over-run by half-time but they eventually clawed their way into the game and lively stand-off Danny Thomas burst clear after taking Lewis Reed’s offload only to fail to find support.
Griffin powered his way over for a second try on 18 minutes to make it 20-0 but the Yorkshiremen’s spirit and endeavour paid off with two close-range tries in the second quarter through starting hooker Jack Lee and his replacement George Flanagan.
Solo tries from hooker Josh Wood and Lui enabled the Red Devils to keep the scoreboard ticking over as they led 32-8 at the break.
Flanagan breached the visitors’ line once more early in the second half but without being able to ground the ball and that was as good as it got for the part-timers.
Lui jinked his way over for his second try before earning a rest and Bibby, too, scored his second try as the gaps continued to open up in the Hunslet defence.
The Hawks continued to show plenty of fight, though, and former Leeds winger Jack Duckworth scored a third try 11 minutes from the end after out-jumping Bibby to touch down Ansell’s kick to the corner.
Ansell was wide for the third time with his conversion attempt but was on target with a penalty before Salford brought up the half-century just before the end when Griffin completed his hat-trick and Michael Dobson completed the scoring with his third goal.