Salford made it three wins from three in The Qualifiers to open up a two-point from four other teams with a convincing 4-62 victory over Halifax at the MBi Shay Stadium.
Derrell Olpherts crossed for his first hat-trick in Salford colours while Jackson Hastings and Junior Sa’u both notched braces. Ed Chamberlain, Ben Nakubuwai, Kris Welham, Lama Tasi and Josh Wood were all also on the scoresheet. Sam Wood scored Halifax’s only try.
But it was the hosts who were quickest out of the blocks and opened the scoring early on. Heaton streaked away down the flank before finding Sam Wood in support to give Halifax an early lead.
However, the Red Devils soon found their feet and it was Hastings who levelled the scores as he dummied and ghosted his way through the defensive line. Hastings was central to Salford’s second as his high kick was knocked down by Welham before the ball found Chamberlain out wide who put Ian Watson’s men ahead.
Fellow Australian half Rob Lui settled into the game and began causing the Halifax defence issues and it wasn’t long until Olpherts crossed in similar fashion to Chamberlain before him. This time it was Josh Jones who rose highest before Olpherts grabbed his first of the game.
Nakubuwai would soon force his way through the Halifax defence under the posts as Salford strengthened their grip on the game.
With five minutes of the first half remaining the Red Devils showed no signs of letting up crossing for two quickfire tries. Hastings scooped up a loose ball when it had looked like the chance had passed finding Niall Evalds who in turn looped the ball wide to Olpherts to score his second of the game.
On the half-time hooter, Chamberlain broke down the opposite wing before throwing the ball inside to an onrushing Welham giving Salford a comfortable lead going into the break.
Half-time didn’t affect Ian Watson’s who scored inside the opening few minutes of the second half with Olpherts claiming his hat-trick. However, the hard work was done by mercurial halfback Hastings who broke from deep before finding the former League One winger.
Tasi was the next Red Devil to break the Halifax defence powering his way over for his first try of the 2018 season. Hastings again provided a try-assist as Sa’u crashed over from close-range before gliding through a big gap in the Fax defence to score himself.
Hastings and fellow halfback Lui were both taken from the field with twenty minutes remaining with one eye on next week’s game against Toronto. Youngster Wood stepped into the halves and went through to score shortly after.
It was down to Sa’u to wrap up a rampant Salford display as he plucked Evalds’ pass out of the air before stepping inside to score in the final minute.
Halifax: Moss, Heaton, Wood, Butler, Sharp; Murrell, Johnston; Fleming, Kaye, Baldwinson, Tangata, Grady, Grix.
Interchanges: Maher, Moore, Cooper, Fairbank.
Salford: Evalds, Olpherts, Sa’u, Welham, Chamberlain; Lui, Hastings; Tasi, Wood, Murray, Jones, McCarthy, Flanagan.
Interchanges: Burgess, Nakubuwai, Burke, Lussick.
Halifax Tries: Wood (9)
Salford Tries: Hastings (12, 65), Chamberlain (19), Olpherts (23, 36, 44), Nakubuwai (27), Welham (40), Tasi (49), Sa’u (54, 80), Wood (71). Salford Conversions: Chamberlain (20, 28, 37, 45, 50, 66, 73)
Man of the Match: Rob Lui.
Referee: Tom Grant.
Touch Judge: Chris Kendall.
Touch Judge: Andrew Sweet.