London Broncos (18) 38, Oldham (6) 24
Match report by David Ballheimer
London Broncos won their first Betfred Championship game of the season as they saw off a late Oldham rally.
The final 38–24 score probably flattered the Roughyeds who scored two converted tries in the last five minutes before gifting the Broncos a seventh score just before the hooter.
In the tenth minute, Jarrod Sammut – making his first start of the season in his third spell in the capital – took a pass from dummy half Matty Fozard before feeding Cory Aston, who passed on to James Meadows in the right centre position.
The full-back, chiming into the attacking line, drew in defenders and his long pass missed out Josh Hodson and gave Tuoyo Egodo the chance to not only cross the line but also cut in towards the posts to make Chris Hankinson’s conversion so much easier.
Just before the quarter point, London forced a goal-line drop-out, which really didn’t go well for Oldham. The ball, hit low, ran straight to Sammut, who scampered 40 metres for a second Broncos try, with two tacklers barely laying a hand on him.
A harsh ball-steal penalty against the Broncos gave Oldham the chance to hit back after 23 minutes. Luke NELMES took full toll, barging over from close range and Callum Green improved the score.
Abbas Miski set up the third London try, after 34 minutes, making a powerful break deep into Roughyeds territory. The visitors were slow to get back into a tight defensive line and Dan Hindmarsh took advantage and went over from five yards away.
Tyler Dupree gave Oldham a boost with a good break to start the second half, but the London defence held firm, stopping him 20 metres from the line.
Two tries in three minutes pretty much confirmed the direction of the two competition points. First, in the 46th minute, a quick pass from Hodson found Egodo who dived into the corner for his second try of the afternoon. A brilliant conversion from Hankinson turned four into six.
A brilliant intervention from Sammut brought the second score. He anticipated a passing move between Danny Langtree and David Hewitt and intercepted.
Despite a brave chase from Green, no one was going to stop Sammut going 65 metres to the posts. After converting this fifth try, Hankinson was given the rest of the afternoon off.
Oldham, with the game pretty much gone, showed good spirit and won the final quarter, three tries to two. First to go over was Jack Bibby, another effort from inside five metres.
Egodo completed his hat-trick after 71 minutes, dribbling a low pass over the try-line and falling on the ball. It was the first hat-trick scored by a Broncos player since Jordan Abdull crossed four times in May 2019 Super League victory over Wakefield Trinity. Sammut took over kicking duties and failed to improve the score.
The last five minutes were very sloppy as Langtree atoned from his error for the second Sammut try by scoring after a good break from Nelmes.
After Green converted that score, Langtree turned provider, making a great break. As Miski came to make the tackle, Langtree fed Hewitt, who ran untouched to the line.
From the kick-off, beautifully directed by Sammut into no-man’s land near the touchline, an Oldham player tried to keep the ball in play and succeeded only in leaving it on the ground. Fastest to react was the chasing Josh Walters, who then had the simple task of picking up the ball and touching down 15 metres downfield.
Moments after Sammut’s kick had sailed just wide of the posts, the final hooter sounded.
1 Meadows, 17 Miski, 3 Hankinson, 23 Hodson, 2 Egodo, 6 Aston, 7 Sammut, 15 Navarette, 9 Fozard, 18 Williams, 4 Lovell, 13 Walters, 10 Richards. Replacements: 14 Davis, 16 Hindmarsh, 20 Boafo, 28 Gwaze.
Tries: Egodo (10, 46, 71), Sammut (19, 49), Hindmarsh (34), Walters (80).
Goals: Hankinson 5/5, Sammut 0/2.
23 Green, 2 Brierley, 28 Hartley, 24 Roberts, 27 Holcroft, 6 Charnock, 7 Hewitt, 10 Spencer, 9 Owen, 15 Nelmes, 12 Bent, 11 Langtree, 19 Fletcher. Replacements: 16 Dupree, 26 Barran, 30 Gregory, 34 Bibby.
Tries: Nelmes (23), Bibby (64), Langtree (74), Hewitt (77).
Goals: Green 4/4
Referee: M Mannifield