London Broncos unbeaten start to the Championship season came to an abrupt halt at Trailfinders on Sunday as they went down 10 points to 34 to a rampant Featherstone Rovers side.
The Broncos were looking to erase the defeat in The Challenge Cup a week earlier and bounce back to the form that had seen them win so convincingly away at Widnes.
Featherstone kicked off short at the very start of the game and were first to the ball which almost set pattern for the entire 80 minutes.
Within ten minutes the visitors had opened the scoring through James Harrison who went over under the posts and when Craig Hall converted they led by six points to nil.
Another ten minutes went by and it was Featherstone who went over again as this time Ben Blackmore went down the Broncos right to touch down in the corner. Hall missed the conversion but that score was now 0 – 10.
The Broncos tried in vain to get over the visitors line but their defence held firm and as Touyo Egodo headed inside towards the line he and Alex Sutcliffe collided and the Broncos winger was out cold. He managed to get to his feet but his afternoon was done.
To add insult to injury on 39 minutes former Broncos man Jack Bussey forced the ball down and the lead was out to 16 points on the hooter as Craig Hall again converted from almost in front of the posts.
The second half got under way through the boot of Kieran Dixon but as the Broncos looked to find a way back into the match.
Featherstone Rovers again came up with some great defence and the Broncos were down to 12 men on 57 minutes when Guy Armitage was given 10 minutes in the bin for kicking the ball away.
Rovers took full advantage of the situation and on 59 minutes Craig Hall danced through the London line to touch down under the posts. He converted his own try and the gap was out to 22 points.
Only three minutes later Rovers were over the line again this time through Louis Jouffret who found the gap to go in under the posts. Hall again converted and the Broncos afternoon looked well and truly over.
It was in no uncertain terms on 66 minutes when Josh Hardcastle again found a big hole in the defence to score under the posts. Hall converted and the score line looked bleak at 0 – 34.
The Broncos did, however, score two consolation tries in the dying minutes and avoided the whitewash as Jacob Ogden & Eloi Pelissier went over to make the score line slightly more respectable. Dixon converted one out of two to get ever nearer to the all time points scoring record at London now needing just 10 more to equal the record of 772 held by Paul Sykes.
Head Coach Danny Ward said, “That today just was not good enough pure & simple. We just got totally dominated there by Featherstone. They ran harder than us, tackled harder than us and obviously wanted it more than us. I think we completed about 38% of our passes today which is absolutely ridiculous. You stand no chance in any game with a stat like that.”
The Broncos need to lick there wounds and regroup as they now travel to Bootham Crescent looking to avenge the Cup defeat as they face York City Knights on March 8th.
LONDON BRONCOS :- Meadows, Dixon, Ogden, Armitage, Egodo, Aston, Smith, Krasniqi, Pelissier, Battye, Walters, Curran, Fozard
INTERCHANGES :- Butler, Hindmarsh, Hodson, Davis
TRIES :- Ogden 73′, Pelissier 79′
GOALS :- Dixon 1/2
FEATHERSTONE ROVERS :- Hall, Gale, Worthington, Sutcliffe, Blackmore, Jouffret, Mclelland, Lockwood, Bussey, Holroyd, Ferres, Hardcastle, Harrison
INTERCHANGES :- Susino, Cooper, Carey, Albert
TRIES :- Harrison 10′, Blackmore 20′, Bussey 39′, Hall 59′, Jouffret 63′, Hardcastle 66′
GOALS :- Hall 5/6