Featherstone Rovers suffered their fifth straight defeat in the Super 8s Qualifiers when they conceded 13 tries at Salford Red Devils on Sunday.
Rovers, who had the best defensive record in the Championship in the regular season, were trounced 70-16 at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Boosted by the return of half-back Kyle Briggs after injury, they made a cracking start when Jordan Baldwinson scored in the first minute but Salford, battling to retain their Super League status, bounced back to take a match-winning 44-12 half-time after capitalising on mistakes by the visitors.
Baldwinson finished a great move in the first set and Briggs added the first of his two conversions to put the visitors 6-0 up but the lead didn’t last long. Rovers centre Misi Taulapapa fumbled the ball from the re-start and, on the last tackle, Weller Hauraki went over.
From that re-start, Rovers put the ball out of play on the full and it led to Junior Sa’u scoring.
The home side quickly struck again when Josh Jones forced his way over and, when Featherstone were penalised from the re-start, Daniel Vidot crossed.
Rovers then saw the ball for the first time since the first minute but immediately lost it and were punished when Sa’u grabbed his second try.
Featherstone hit back when Jack Ormondroyd scored from a Briggs grubber kick but John Davies was then harshly penalised for what looked a fair tackle and Niall Evalds went in.
Ben Murdoch-Masilla and Logan Tomkins joined Salford’s try spree and Gareth O’Brien’s kicked the sixth of his nine goals to put them 32 points ahead at the break.
Featherstone started the second period excellently just as they had the first-half when sustained pressure was rewarded with a try by Leeds Rhinos’ on-loan forward Josh Walters but Salford quickly regained control with two tries in three minutes by Olsi Krasniqi and Hauraki before Michael Dobson’s 60th minute touchdown made it 62-16.
Murdoch-Masilla and Jones scored their second tries to complete the rout.
Salford Red Devils: Evalds; Vidot, Jones, Sa’u, J Griffin; O’Brien, Dobson; Burgess, Tomkins, G Griffin, Murdoch-Masila, Hauraki, Flanagan. Subs: Krasniqi, Walne, Lui, Kopczak.
Featherstone Rovers: Craven; Duckworth, Hardman Taulapapa, Briscoe; Briggs, Thackeray; Griffin, Ellis, Baldwinson, Walters, Ormondroyd, Davies. Subs: Day, Cooper, Snitch, Foster.
Referee: Chris Campbell.