Wakefield Trinity Wildcats were far too good for Bradford Bulls in what was expected to be a close First Utility Qualifiers clash at Belle Vue.
Wildcats, who finished bottom in Super League, had the game won by half-time and ran in eight tries in all, with Lee Smith scoring 18 points from a try and seven goals.
It was a miserable afternoon for Bulls, the Championship runners-up, who lost stand-off Lee Gaskell inside the opening 10 minutes after he was hurt trying to prevent Wakefield’s second try.
Wildcats made a lightning start and were 30-0 up after 25 minutes.
Jon Molloy began the rout after just six minutes and Michael Sio, Mickael Simon, Nick Scruton and Lee Smith all crossed as Bulls were ruthlessly torn apart.
Sio was outstanding at hooker for the Super League side and their forwards had Bradford’s defence on the back foot, allowing half-backs Jacob Miller and Tim Smith the time and space to run riot.
Bulls did manage to stem the tide before the break and got on the scoreboard themselves when Adrian Purtell took advantage of good work by Ephalamane Lauaki and Dale Ferguson to cross for a try which Danny Addy converted.
Ferguson rumbled over for Bulls’ second touchdown soon after half-time, but Wildcats eased the pressure when Lee Smith booted a penalty goal then Leeds-bound forward Anthony Mullally combined with Miller to send Reece Lyne over in the next set.
That put the result beyond doubt and Wildcats finished strongly as Tim Smith sent Matty Ashurst in - Smith failing to convert for the only time - and then Miller crossed for a deserved try, converted by Joe Arundel, after a penalty in front of the posts.
Bulls’ James Clare scored a consolation try with three minutes left, Addy landing his third conversion.
The only blot on the afternoon for Wakefield was the loss of winger Richard Owen in the second half, with a double break of a leg.