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Round 3: Bradford overpower Salford
Champions Bradford ended Salford?s winning start to the engage Super League season with an emphatic 34-4 victory at Odsal on Friday night.
The Bulls ran in six tries but the contest was effectively settled in the first 40 minutes as they opened up a 24-4 half-time lead.
Iestyn Harris touched down twice for the dominant Bulls with Brad Meyers, Stuart Fielden, Shontayne Hape and Stanley Gene also crossing. Paul Deacon kicked four goals.
Salford had gone into the game with the best defensive record in the competition having conceded just one try in their opening wins over Warrington and Catalans Dragons.
Bradford soon set about changing that and opened the Reds up to claim the first score of a chilly evening after just two minutes.
Hape knocked back a Iestyn Harris kick and Meyers made easy work of the finish by the posts.
Deacon converted and Salford were fortunate to escape further damage as the Bulls scrum-half lost the ball trying to touch down. Ben Harris also seemed set to score when he knocked on under pressure from Karl Fitzpatrick.
Another try seemed inevitable and it duly arrived after 16 minutes when Fielden found space on the left and powered his way to the line.
It was beginning to look too easy for the Bulls as Deacon broke from halfway to pass inside for half-back partner Iestyn Harris to score the third try.
Salford did at least manage to stem the flow as they mounted a rare attack and pulled a try back through David Hodgson after 24 minutes.
The Reds opted to run a penalty deep in the Bulls half and were rewarded as the ball was worked wide for Hodgson to sneak over in the corner.
Normal service was resumed four minutes before the interval, however, as Chris McKenna found Ben Harris with a clever pass behind his back and the centre sent Iestyn Harris over for his second.
The Bulls continued to apply the pressure after the break and, despite a stronger defensive effort from Salford, it only seemed a matter of time before they increased their lead.
The fifth try arrived as they attacked down the right and Lesley Vainikolo, on his return to the side from injury, fed Hape in the corner.
Salford almost responded immediately as Andy Coley drove to the line but he was stopped short and Junior Langi was held up as he tried to force his way over from dummy half.
The game was well beyond the Reds, however, and the second half was a largely scrappy affair. Salford?s frustration began to show and, with Bradford easing up, there were a few niggly incidents and ugly tackles.
Yet it was still a satisfactory night for the Bulls and Gene put the seal on their first home win of the season when he broke through for a fine individual try 11 minutes from time.
With Deacon off the field, Iestyn Harris completed formalities with the conversion, taking his tally for the night to 10 points.
Bradford: Withers, Bai, B. Harris, Hape, Vainikolo, I. Harris, Deacon, Fielden, Henderson, Lynch, McKenna, Meyers, Langley.
Replacements: Vagana, Johnson, Gene, Ferres.
Salford: Hodgson, Stewart, Littler, Moule, Langi, Dunemann, Fitzpatrick, Coley, Alker, Highton, Brocklehurst, Finnigan, Charles.
Replacements: Clough, Haggerty, Rutgerson, Baldwin.
Bradford: (24) 34.
Tries: Meyers, Fielden, I. Harris 2, Hape, Gene.
Goals: Deacon 4, I. Harris.
Salford: (4) 4.
Referee: R Laughton (Barnsley)