Bulls head coach Francis Cummins branded his players “pathetic” after their survival hopes were dealt a massive blow by a 46-18 defeat at Salford.

The Red Devils had picked up only a single point in their previous eight Super League matches but they blew Bradford away during a blistering opening spell.

Inspired by the intricate probing of playmaker Rangi Chase, Iestyn Harris’ side led 24-0 after just 15 minutes thanks to a four-try blast.

Cummins admitted: “It was a horror start and defensively we were pathetic.

“The players were just taking dummies and just not even doing the basics.

“Salford played well and they have got some good players who can unlock defences but there wasn’t any level of professionalism.

“They (Salford) were going through the middle untouched and that’s poor.

“Right from the start, we had some people who were way off the pace. We got back into the game after half an hour but we had some people who were below the standard required for Super League today.”

The Bulls at least steadied themselves and replied with tries from Elliot Kear and Tom Olbison before half-time but Salford touched down eight times in total and were comfortable victors.

The result left Bradford nine points behind the Red Devils and eight adrift of Wakefield ahead of Friday’s visit of Hull KR to Odsal.

Asked about his side’s survival hopes, Cummins added: “It gets tougher but we’ve just got to concentrate on Hull KR now because it’s a short turnaround.

“Mathematically we can still do it, so that’s what we’ve got to keep focused on.

“The frustrating thing is that we have probably wasted an opportunity there today.”

Cummins said the manner in which his side capitulated was all about a lack of desire and nothing to do with tactics.

The news last week that the Bulls’ six-point penalty for entering administration had been upheld appeared to have taken its toll on Cummins’ players.

He said: “We had trained and we knew what we were doing but it wasn’t a tactical thing.

“It wasn’t anything to do with that and we probably had half a dozen players who were just way off.

“It’s a strange situation we are in and maybe a few individuals were hoping to get some points back [with the appeal]. But it has never crossed my mind and I’ve never talked about it in team meetings or anything like that.

“There is other stuff going on as well and we looked like we had some players who were just way off.”

The Bulls’ Under-19s lost 28-14 to their Salford counterparts yesterday in a game which saw Sam Bates sent off.