Salford Red Devils booked themselves a place in the Betfred Challenge Cup Quarter-Final this afternoon with a dominant 68-4 victory over Widnes Vikings.
In what was Richard Marshall’s first Betfred Challenge Cup game as Salford head coach, the Red Devils responded massively to recent defeats, with debutants Morgan Escare and Matt Costello both picking up two tries each.
It was the Frenchman Escare who opened the scoring at the The Salford Stadium in the 13th minute, strolling over after Jack Ormondroyd, today’s Man of the Match, broke the Widnes line to set Escare up.
Costello picked up a debut try of his own five minutes later, scrambling over the line to the left of the sticks to extend Salford’s lead.
The number 24 then scored another in the 22nd minute, opening Widnes up with a dummy pass before darting over the line down the left.
Darcy Lussick came on for Lee Mossop in the 23rd minute to make his debut for the Red Devils, and just over ten minutes later Tui Lolohea added to Salford’s lead.
Welshman Rhys Williams breached the Widnes line with a fantastic run and set up Lolohea who was just fast enough to make it to the line and ground the ball in the 35th minute.
Just before the half-time hooter, Widnes got themselves onto the scoreboard for the first and only time of the afternoon through Daniel Hill down the left flank.
Half-time: Salford Red Devils 24-4 Widnes Vikings
Four minutes into the second forty, Dec Patton scrambled over the line to the left of the posts to score his first try as a Red Devil.
Andy Ackers entered the field four minutes later for Lolohea, and scored a try of his own within the first minute of being on the pitch.
Seb Ikahihifo powered over two minutes before the hour mark for his first try of 2021, the Widnes defence no match for Salford’s number 10.
Kallum Watkins went over in the 64th minute after some quality link-up play with Pauli Pauli, who powered through a handful of Widnes players to set Watkins up to the right of the sticks.
Ormondroyd, who had been a handful all afternoon for the Vikings, broke the Widnes line again in the 73rd minute and this time grounded the ball himself.
Three more tries from Rhys Williams, Morgan Escare and Chris Atkin rounded off what was a spectacular performance for Salford Red Devils, who progress to the Quarter-Final of the Betfred Challenge Cup.
Fulltime: Salford Red Devils 68-4 Widnes Vikings
Salford Red Devils: Escare, Williams, Watkins, Inu, Lolohea, Ormondroyd, Patton, Mossop, Livett, Pauli, Wells, Roberts, Ackers, Lussick, Ikahihifo.
Widnes Vikings: Hill, Cross, Spedding, Roby, Buckley, Craven, Smith, Grady, Else, Jewitt, Tyrer, Lawton, Owens, Lyons, Clough, Tilleke, Wilde.
Salford tries: Escare (2), Costello (2), Lolohea, Patton, Ackers, Ikahihifo, Watkins, Ormondroyd, Williams, Atkin.
Salford goals: Inu (10/12)
Widnes tries: Hill
Referee: Scott Mikalauskas
Image credit: Steve McCormick