Two sides with opening round wins came together for the Thursday night televised game on Sky as the Salford Red Devils welcomed Hull KR to the AJ Bell for their first home game of the season.
The Red Devils had Burgess back in the side after he missed last week´s game against Leigh, while the visitors were without first choice goal kicker Lachlan Coote and veteran winger Ryan Hall but could call on the services of Shaun Kenny-Dowall who scored a hat-trick last time out against Wigan.
Salford were odds on for the win with the bookies, KR being given a ten point start on the handicap coupon. The winners would spend the evening at the top of the table.
Salford laid siege to the KR line and with ten minutes on the clock they finally found a way through the defence as Ken Sio took a Kallum Watkins pass to slide over on the corner. Marc Sneyd pushed his kick across the face of the uprights.
Salford had more opportunities to score but the ball went to ground at crucial moments, KR were spending most of their time defending but had a couple of adventures into the Salford half, but to no avail.
KR had a Sam Wood try ruled out on thirty-three for a Shaun Kenny-Dowall knock-on in the build-up, Salford going into the sheds with a narrow four-point lead.
There were four minutes on the second half clock when Jordan Abdull put in a cross-field kick which wasn´t dealt with by Joe Burgess in defence, Ethan Ryan collecting the loose ball and dotting down before going dead in goal. Will Dagger added the conversion to edge his side into the lead.
Within six minutes KR were in again, Jordan Abdul threating through a pinpoint accurate grubber which was collected and grounded by Frankie Halton by the right upright. Dagger was again on target for 12-4. The second half was all Robins.
The Red Devils responded immediately when on fifty-three fast hands down the line saw the ball end up in the hands of Deon Cross who stepped inside and stooped to score. Marc Sneyd found the target, the arrears down to two points.
The glut of second half tries continued fifty-six with more quick hands, this time from KR with Sam Wood being the last in the line to take a Kenny-Dowall pass and dive over in the corner. Dagger added the extras from the touchline, the lead back up to eight points.
KR´s icing on the cake came on seventy-two when an Abdull kick through was fumbled by Ryan Brierley in the Salford defence, the ball tapped forwards before Wood picked up the bouncing ball and grounded. Dagger added the conversion for 24-10 with no way back for Salford.
Hull KR will spend the night at the top of the pile after maintaining their one hundred percent start to the season. The Robins really were not in the game in the first forty, but played like a different side in the second half, to cruise to the win and silence the home support. Abdull was the commander in chief, controlling the game, and destroying Salford with the boot.
Salford Red Devils: Brierley, Sio (T), Cross (T), Lafai, Burgess, Croft, Sneyd (G), Ormondroyd, Ackers, Dupree, Watkins, Stone, Partington. Subs: Gerrard, Vuniyayawa, Atkin, Wright. 18th Man: .
Hull KR: Dagger (4G), Ryan (T), Opacic, Kenny-Dowall, Wood (2T), Lewis, Abdull, Sue, Parcell, King, Batchelor, Linnett, Minchella. Subs: Hadley, Halton (T), Litten, Luckley. 18th Man: Johnson.
Score Progression: 4-0 : HT : 4-4, 4-6, 4-10, 4-12, 8-12, 10-12, 10-16, 10-18, 10-22, 10-24 : FT.
Lead Exchanges: Salford – Square – Hull KR.
Referee: Marcus Griffiths.