Salford Red Devils eased to a 68-4 victory against Widnes Vikings in the Challenge Cup 3rd Round at the AJ Bell Stadium as Matt Costello scored twice on a standout debut performance.
Widnes had the better of the early play and they came close to taking the lead in the 10th minute as Lolohea eased past Smith, dinked a diagonal kick but Buckley read the danger, knocking the ball to ground and ending the attack.
Salford took the lead in the 13th through Morgan Escare who was sent through under the posts to score his first try for the Red Devils and Krisnan Inu comfortably converted the goal.
Salford were to extend their advantage just minutes later as they put the pressure on straight from the restart and, after a free-flowing passing move, Matt Castello finished it off, scoring a try on his competitive debut for the Red Devils.
The Red Devils were soon in full flow, scoring their third try of the match on 22 minutes and it was Costello again whose clever dummy deceived Widnes to score his second try of the game.
Widnes responded well, however, camping Salford in their own half and coming close to scoring a try several times.
Their period of pressure was to be in vain, Salford withheld it well, countered with speed and then a brilliant solo run by Rhys Bepe set up Tui Lolohela to score under the sticks.
Widnes did find a breakthrough before the break to put a small dampen on an otherwise impressive first-half from the hosts, Daniel Hill did well on the left to score for the Vikings.
Although, the visitors missed the chance to extend their lead as their goal attempt hit the post and bounced wide, leaving the score 24-4 to Salford at the break.
The Red Devils wasted little time getting back into top gear after the interval, taking their first opening of the second half as Dec Patton finished off a well-constructed move and Inu converted the goal for the extra points.
Salford’s super-sub Andy Akers scored his sides 5th try of the game just a minute after being introduced, extending the host’s lead to 34-4 and Inu added two more points from his goal attempt.
Salford moved to the 40 points mark after a strong driving run by Seb Ikahihifo who powered over the line to score before Inu had the easiest of kicks in front of the posts to add the extra points.
The Red Devils continued to run riot in the 64th minute as Kallum Watkins got over the line on the right after a good Salford move and Inu as he did all game, added the extras.
Salford further extended their emphatic advantage in the 73rd minute as Jack Ormondroyd made a line break and had too much speed to be caught, with Inu scoring the penalty to add two more points.
Richard Marshall’s men added yet another try just two minutes later as Rhys Williams darted down the left wing to score, Inu added the extra points from his penalty.
Salford broke the 60 points barrier as the match moved into its last two minutes as Frenchman Escare scored his second try of the afternoon with Inu doing the rest.
The Red Devils added more salt to Widnes’ wound in the 80th minute as Chris Atkin scored Salford’s 4th try in just 10 minutes to finish off an utterly ruthless second-half display.
The only surprise was to see Inu miss the conversion to prevent an astonishing 70 points and a 100% success rate from his goal attempts.
There will be tougher tests to come for the Red Devils but this was exactly the type of confidence booster Marshall and his players needed after a challenging start to their Super League campaign.