Salford City Reds (12) 12
Tries: Holdsworth, Smith, Fitzpatrick Goals: Ratchford 2
Crusaders (14) 36
Tries: Mellars 3, Winternstein, Witt, Thackray, Raynor Goals: Witt 4
Vince Mellars was signed less than a month ago from Auckland Vulcans
Brian Noble's Crusaders ran in a magnificent seven tries at The Willows as the unfancied Welsh side earned their first Super League victory.
Kiwi centre Vince Mellars bagged a hat-trick, aided by efforts from Frankie Winternstein, Michael Witt, Jamie Thackray and Gareth Raynor.
Salford, only 14-12 down at the break, responded with tries from Matty Smith, Daniel Holdsworth and Karl Fitzpatrick.
But Crusaders stretched clear to earn them their first win under Noble.
Wrexham-based Crusaders, last season's wooden-spoonists, had conceded 72 points to Leeds and Wigan in their opening two games in Super League XV.
But they got it right third time as they impressively swept Salford aside in the battle of last season's bottom two.
And Reds coach Shaun McRae felt the full force of the home fans' frustrations at the final whistle.
Salford coach Shaun McRae on the fans' reaction:
"They are entitled to do that and I think they're right.
"I thought we'd play a lot better than we did tonight. I thought we'd respond after playing pretty well at Hull KR.
"But we were probably out-enthused tonight by a side that is slowly getting together. I made the statement at the start of the year that they have got wins in them. And they are a pretty strong side."
Crusaders coach Brian Noble:
"Vince Mellars has got all the credentials. He's big, he can pass, he's got the footwork and he reminds me of some really good centres I've seen go around.
"But I'm really pleased for all the players, we've been working really hard.
"After the tough start we were given, we've shown tonight we'll be OK as the season goes on and as we add to our team.
"I thought we were very loose in the last 20 minutes and that's not taking any of the gloss off the win. We got up and running but we'll need to be a whole lot better through the year to maintain that."
Salford: Fitzpatrick, Broughton, Tyrer, Gibson, McGilvray, Ratchford, M Smith, Cashmere, Alker, Parker, Adamson, Swain, Holdsworth.
Replacements: Leuluai, J Smith, Boyle, Sibbit.
Crusaders: Kear, Youngquest, Dyer, Mellars, Raynor, Lupton, Witt, O'Hara, Withers, Bryant, Chan, Winternstein, Trimarchi.
Replacements: Hauraki, Peek, Thackray, Flower.
Referee: S Ganson (St Helens)