Kiwi centre Shontayne Hape scored four tries as defending English Super League champions Bradford Bulls hammered play-off debutants Salford City Reds 52-6 in their elimination play-off on Saturday.
The Bulls hit a rich vein of form in a nine-try rout to earn a home semi-final against Warrington Wolves next Saturday and keep alive their hopes of a sixth successive grand final appearance.
BradfordÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s newly-crowned world light welterweight champion Junior Witter watched the Bulls deliver a brutal knockout blow to a Salford side that slipped below the high standards set in its best-ever Super League season.
Had it been a boxing match, it would surely have been stopped long before the end, with the Reds out-muscled and out-classed by a Bradford team that at last began to resemble last yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s championship-winning side.
There was an early end for SalfordÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s chief playmaker Andrew Dunemann, who was forced off just 10 minutes into his farewell appearance after succumbing to two heavy knocks.
Reds forwards Chris Charles and Sean Rutgerson also bowed out in disappointing circumstances as Karl HarrisonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s men crumbled under an early onslaught by the rampant Bulls.
There were shades of last yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s record 71-0 play-off win over Hull FC as the Bulls re-discovered the awesome touch.
They set off at a point a minute and were in firm control by half-time when they led 22-0.
Great Britain international Paul Deacon was the RedsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ tormentor-in-chief, twice forcing them to drop out before they had handled the ball and putting in the kicks that produced two tries in the first eight minutes.
First fullback Michael Withers leapt high above the Salford defence to gather the scrum-halfÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s bomb and then loose forward Brett Ferres pounced on a loose ball after Reds full-back Karl Fitzpatrick fumbled DeaconÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s grubber kick.
The expert marksman also converted both tries from identical positions to put his side 12-0 ahead.
In between the scores, the Bulls were indebted to a wonderful last-ditch tackle from Lesley Vainikolo, who raced over from the left wing to haul Salford centre Aaron Moule into touch in the right corner following a superb break from skipper Malcolm Alker.
But it was a rare raid by the visitors, who looked shell-shocked by BradfordÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s blistering start, and their cause was not helped by the loss of Dunemann which left Harrison with little room for manoeuvre with his substitutes.
The Bulls were simply on fire and they extended their lead on 17 minutes when Hape took Iestyn HarrisÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ accurate pass to cut through a gap for his first try and Deacon added his third goal.
Influential hooker Terry Newton then made the most of a neat offload by substitute Paul Johnson to get Hape over for his second try to make it 22-0 by the break.
Hape completed his first hat-trick of the season two minutes into the second half when he took DeaconÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s pass to squeeze over at the corner but Salford ensured there would be no whitewash when winger David Hodgson gathered HarrisÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ kick and sprinted 80 metres for a try.
Charles added the conversion but Bradford was simply irresistible and ran in four further tries in the final quarter.
A fine break from Brad Meyers got fellow front rower Andy Lynch over for a deserved score and second rower Chris McKenna juggled with HarrisÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ pass before touching down.
Harris also got 17-year-old forward Sam Burgess over for a try before Hape surged over for his fourth touchdown, to which Deacon added his eighth goal from nine attempts.
At Odsal Stadium, Bradford:
BRADFORD BULLS 52 (Shontayne Hape 4, Michael Withers, Brett Ferres, Andy Lynch, Chris McKenna, Sam Burgess tries; Paul Deacon 8 goals).
SALFORD CITY REDS 6 (David Hodgson try; Chris Charles goal).
Halftime: 22-0 Bulls.
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