Salford City Reds were ‘completely outgunned’ in their thumping Challenge Cup defeat to Warrington Wolves, says head coach Brian Noble.
The Wolves eased into the quarter-finals, running in nine tries – Brett Hodgson and Lee Briers adding eight conversions – with Jodie Broughton scoring the Reds’ only response.
Noble believes poor defending helped the home side early on and his side paid the price for trying to get out of trouble.
“It’s a fair reflection,” he said. “We were completely outgunned today.
“I thought we contributed early to some of the tries they scored. I have to give credit to Warrington, they were physically better than us.
“At times their prowess showed for all to see.”
After some early pressure from Salford, the hosts took the lead after ten minutes when Chris Hill powered over before Hodgson slotted over the simple conversion.
Within six minutes, Wolves had scored twice more, first through Joel Monaghan in the corner and then Hodgson – who converted both – after some woeful Reds’ defending.
The holders added a fourth try on 27 minutes when Stefan Ratchford, less than a metre out, stretched over from dummy-half before Hodgson added the extras.
The Wolves scored their fifth four minutes into the second-half when Micky Higham spun out of a tackle to cross under the posts with Hodgson maintaining his 100% afternoon.
Only three minutes later, returning Warrington legend Briers weaved his way over to pass 1000 career points with his 149th Wire try, before Hodgson converted.
Ratchford then scored his second of the day on 51 minutes, outpacing the Salford defence to latch onto Hodgson’s kick through, with the captain making it seven from seven.
The Reds finally got on the score-sheet after 65 minutes when Ratchford lost the ball in the tackle, allowing Broughton to race clear before Lee Gaskell added the conversion.
Their fans’ joy was short-lived as Monaghan scored minutes later, before Paul Wood completed the rout with four minutes left with Briers missing the first kick, but landing the second.
Noble was under no illusions at to where his side is at in terms of progressing and praised the way his players continued to fight.
“It is a reflection of probably where we are at,” he added. “The reality will sink home and I know where we’re at.
“I’m not shocked by anything and sometimes in the short-term you’ve got to backwards to take strides forward. The effort is there, which is the main thing.
“People will question the resolve. But I think the scoreboard is a fair reflection of how we tried to get ourselves out of trouble when we were behind.”