Mike Eccles said London Broncos showed “outstanding character” to come from behind and beat Dewsbury Rams 18-26 away from home in the Betfred Championship on Sunday.
The interim head coach praised his squad’s character and response to adversity as Alex Walker’s brace coupled with tries for Illies Macani, Brad Foster and debutant Sam Hall confirmed victory.
The eight-point win lifted the Broncos out of the Championship’s bottom two for the first time this season, and Eccles hopes the result can prompt a turnaround in the squad’s fortunes.
“It was a big game, and we didn’t want to place any additional pressure on the boys,” said Eccles. “To concede early but enter half-time eight points up and retain that lead until the final hooter was an outstanding effort and credit to the entire squad and staff.
“It’s been a challenging period with results not going our way while the squad has shown flashes of what they are capable of. The potential is there for everyone to see, and I’m pleased we got over the line.
“Being critical, we could’ve executed our game plan better. The Dewsbury field is tight, so we wanted to play down the middle and not be too expansive with our game.
“We had to show character, we had to push through adversity and had to put points on the board. The last two performances have everything I want this team to be about, against York we saw a team playing with freedom and enjoyment but unfortunately just fell short. Against Dewsbury we showed a real grit and resilience to win ugly and get the job done.”
The Broncos now face a two-week wait until their next Championship fixture away from home against midtable Widnes Vikings on Sunday, June 26.
Ties against Sheffield Eagles, Featherstone Rovers, Bradford Bulls and Halifax Panthers follow in successive weeks. And Eccles wants to see the positive traits he witnessed at the Tetley’s Stadium reapplied to the squad’s stretch of fixtures through late June and into July.
“There is external pressure – and there always will be when results do not go your way,” said Eccles. “Internally, we don’t discuss the league table or recent form.
“But we’re not completely shut off from the world, we do read comments on the internet and understand frustration from the supporters when we lose. Our core objectives now are to remain focused and continue working hard to ensure our performances are better week on week.
“I keep using the word ‘excited’, but I really am. We’re seeing players return from injury, we’ve seen younger players step up and compete at this level and we’ve welcomed some new legs to the squad, which is important if we’re to build on this result.”