Junior Sa’u bagged a hat-trick for the second week in a row as Salford climbed off the bottom of the Super League with a 44-26 win over Hull KR.
The Red Devils were reeling from their six-point deduction for breaching salary cap regulations but the impressive win takes Salford above Huddersfield and new basement dwellers Leeds on scoring difference.
Sa’u, who grabbed a hat-trick in last week’s defeat at Catalans, notched another treble to take his season’s tally to 10.
Salford blitzed Rovers in the first half to lead 28-6 at the interval with tries from Sa’u, Robert Lui, Niall Evalds, George Griffin and Josh Jones.
Rovers could only reply with a Maurice Blair touchdown before the break.
Hull KR hit back in the second half with tries from Iain Thornley, Ken Sio and a brace from Thomas Minns, but Sa’u crossed twice more for Salford to give them a morale-boosting win before Saturday’s Challenge Cup trip to Castleford.
Lui also added a second try two minutes from time to cap an outstanding performance.
Rovers beat Salford 44-30 at Craven Park in March and went into the clash with two wins in their last three league matches at Leeds and Castleford.
But the impressive away wins were sandwiched by a 40-0 home thrashing by Catalans followed by the 36-22 Challenge Cup defeat by part-timers Oldham.
Salford welcomed back skipper Tommy Lee after a knee injury.
Salford went ahead after seven minutes with slick handling by Lui and Ben Murdoch-Masila sending Sa’u over but Dobson missed the straightforward conversion.
Hull KR were still recovering when a well-rehearsed move saw Dobson slip an inside pass to Gareth O’Brien who sent Lui darting over and this time Dobson made no mistake with the kick.
Salford were in rampaging form and grabbed a third try after 15 minutes with Evalds doing well to squeeze over in the corner after more impressive handling by O’Brien and Griffin.
O’Brien booted the touch line conversion to make it 16-0 with Rovers struggling to stem the flow.
But a mistake by Logan Tomkins gifted Maurice Blair their first try when the hooker fumbled Albert Kelly’s grubber kick with Sio landing the goal.
Dobson almost created another try against his old club with a sidestepping run through the Rovers defence but was stopped by desperate defence.
Salford suffered a blow with Justin Carney going off injured but then George Griffin bulldozed his way over to extend the lead to 22-6.
The Red Devils were on fire with Dobson and O’Brien again linking up to send Jones over with O’Brien’s goal making it 28-6 at the break.
Carney returned to the action before Rovers notched their second try with Kelly’s high kick causing problems in the Salford defence and Thornley touched down against his old club to cut the gap to 28-12.
Mitch Allgood lacked support on a surging run as Rovers piled on the pressure before an electrifying Carney run cleared the danger.
Lui set up Sa’u for his second try on the hour to make it 32-12 before a long-range Sio try for Rovers.
But Sio was injured going over the line and forced to quit before Salford went down to 12 men with Tomkins sin binned.
Hull KR took advantage for Minns to go over in the corner but any hopes of a comeback were dashed when Sa’u collected Lui’s neat kick to complete his hat-trick.
MInns went over for his second try for Rovers to cut the deficit to 38-26.
The try-feast continued with Lui grabbing Salford’s eighth from O’Brien’s pass three minutes from time.