Luke Robinson's continued emergence as a quality scrum-half was again illuminated as the Reds took the initiative after a scoreless opening half-hour. Robinson scored one try and had a hand in three more of his side's six tries.
"Luke can be the best scrum-half in Great Britain," said Karl Harrison, the Salford coach. "We have never talked about relegation and our goal has always been to get in the top six." Frank Endacott, the Widnes coach, described his side's display as "embarrassing at times".
Robinson asserted control when he forced Andrew Emelio into conceding a goal-line drop-out after a testing kick. From the re-start Robinson's drop-off pass fell perfectly for Stuart Littler to dodge over the line from close range.
Jules O'Neill put further pressure on his side by putting the re-start kick-off straight into touch and Salford took advantage with Ian Sibbit stretching over the line to force the ball down. Salford extended their advantage to 18-0 when Robinson's chip-kick was perfectly judged by the supporting Karl Fitzpatrick.
Then David Hodgson crossed unopposed after Robinson's run from a quickly-taken tap penalty. Widnes then enjoyed their best spell of the game, scoring two tries to get back to within 12 points. Jon Whittle's 50-metre finish broke their duck and Simon Finnigan then got the touch to Owen Craigie's drilled kick.
But Robinson's short pass sent Gareth Haggerty crashing over for the clincher, leaving Gray Viane's late reply in vain. Hodgson put the seal on his side's vitally important win with an interception try from halfway.
Salford: Fitzpatrick; Hodgson, Littler, Sibbit, Smith; Beverley, Robinson; Rutgerson, Alker, Highton, Shipway, McAvoy, Charles. Substitutes used: Coley, Haggerty, Baldwin, Hartley.
Widnes: Holmes; Emelio, Whittle, Fa'alogo, Viane; Craigie, O'Neill; O'Connor, Smith, Stankevitch, Cassidy, Millard, Finnigan. Substitutes used: Hulse, Whitaker, Frame, Mills.
Referee: R Laughton (Barnsley).
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