Holdsworth and Patten blitz Bulls

Salford Reds 56 Bradford Bulls 16
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The Independent Online

The former Canterbury Bulldogs team-mates, Daniel Holdsworth and Luke Patten, gave Salford back their attacking bite as they went above Bradford in the Super League table. The pair were involved in almost all of the Reds' tries, with Ashley Gibson contributing a hat-trick to their best display of the season.

"Daniel's a quality player. It's just taken him a little while to get his form back," said Salford's director of football, Steve Simms. "They're used to playing together and Luke is getting better and better all the time. I thought he was outstanding today."

In front of a sparse crowd thanks to the City v United clash at Wembley, the Salford scrum-half and captain, Holdsworth, produced the key moments, forcing his own way over and then, after Marc Herbert had put the restart out on the full, sending Mark Henry through a gap for the second try.

Salford's other two first-half tries were the work of their other class act from Australia. Patten has taken his time to live up to his reputation since arriving in Super League, but there was no arguing with the way he came into the line to release first Gibson and then Jodie Broughton for his ninth try of the season. Just for good measure, Holdsworth kicked all four goals.

Salford began the second half as badly as they had the first, parting like the Red Sea to let Herbert in for a try. They soon made up for that slackness, Holdsworth taking a clever off-load from Stephen Wild and bouncing out of a series of tackles to set up Matty Smith.

Interplay with Henry then gave Gibson his second, followed by his third, with both Holdsworth and Patten involved. There was still time for Stefan Ratchford to score from Holdsworth's kick and for Henry to claim a second as a poor Bradford side fell apart. "There was a lot of misdirected effort, which is my responsibility," said the Bulls' coach, Mick Potter.

Salford Patten; Henry, Gibson, Ratchford, Broughton; Smith, Holdsworth; Cashmere, Godwin, Boyle, Nero, Anderson, Wild. Substitutes used: Adamson, Paleaaesina, Sidlow, Sneyd.

Bradford Kearney; Raynor, Sykes, Walker, Ainscough; Briggs, Herbert; Lynch, L'Estrange, Kopczak, Elima, Whitehead, Olbison. Substitutes used: Diskin, Hargreaves, Donaldson, Burgess.

Referee J Child (Dewsbury).

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