Super League: Salford City Reds 7-28 Bradford Bulls
Salford City Reds (7) 7
Bradford Bulls (18) 28
- Blythe 2, Gale, Diskin, Purtell
- Sammut 4
Bradford forward Matty Blythe scored twice as they secured an easy win against bottom club Salford City Reds.
The Bulls went ahead when Luke Gale ran in unopposed to score, before Salford hit back through Ryan McGoldrick, whose try and drop-goal took them in front.
But Blythe then scored twice to give the visitors an 18-7 half-time lead.
And they added further tries through Matt Diskin and Adrian Purtell to ensure defeat for Salford's former Bradford head coach Brian Noble.
An injury to Salford's Chris Nero after 53 minutes caused a lengthy stoppage and ensured a later than usual finish at the Salford City Stadium.
The match had kicked off 15 minutes late after congestion on the M62 delayed the arrival of some Bradford players and the visitors started sluggishly, being forced behind their own try line in the opening minute of the game, with Salford seemingly keen to make amends for last week's drubbing at Warrington in the Challenge Cup.
But it was the Bulls who struck first when stand-in full-back Jarrod Sammut's clever step and late offload created a gap for half-back Gale to race clear and score underneath the posts.
Salford levelled when an excellent dummy from stand-off McGoldrick saw him slide over before adding a drop-goal in the very next possession.
McGoldrick's try came during a short time where Bradford appeared to have 14 players on the field when Jacob Fairbank ran on whilst Nick Scruton was groggily making his way off the pitch, reminiscent of the recent incident which saw Salford receive a £10,000 fine.
The hosts' advantage was short lived as full-back Marc Sneyd fumbled a grubber kick and second-rower Blythe capitalised.
Sammut converted and then sent a beautiful inside pass to centre Keith Lulia, who unselfishly allowed Blythe his second try in five minutes to make it 18-7 at the break.
Bradford had a great chance to score just after half time but Elliot Kear spilled the ball when the Bulls had a three-man overlap.
The match was stopped as medics tended to Salford forward Nero and, after a 10-minute delay, Bradford made the game safe in their next attack as hooker Diskin ran straight from dummy-half to score.
Salford were forced to defend a relentless barrage of Bulls attacks and the visitors finally made their pressure tell when Purtell went over in the corner late on.
VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Salford City Reds head coach Brian Noble:
"We are hopeful Chris Nero's injury isn't as bad as it first appeared. It looks like Chris will be fine.
"Tonight was a big improvement from last week. We were unlucky to be losing at half time and for 50 minutes I thought we were the better team.
"But we contributed to our own downfall and didn't finish the sets as we should have done."
Bradford Bulls head coach Francis Cummins:
"We stuck to what we tried to do and ground out victory.
"Jarrod Sammut was excellent and he is a player fans love to watch because they don't know what he's going to do.
"It was a nightmare journey here and at one stage we thought the game may not be on so I have to be happy with the win."
Salford: Sneyd; Broughton, Gleeson, Gaskell, Gibson; McGoldrick, Fages; Griffin, Foran, Walne, Ashurst, Dixon, Wild.
Replacements: Nero, Mauro, Emmitt, Godwin.
Bradford: Sammut; Kear, Lulia, Purtell, Platt; Addy, Gale; Scruton, L'Estrange, Langley, Blythe, Whitehead, Walker.
Replacements: Diskin, Bateman, Evans, Fairbank.
Referee: Tim Roby (RFL).