With two weeks left until the regular season concludes, the Broncos are back at the Cherry Red this weekend to play arguably their most important game of the season so far against Bradford Bulls.

We have had an excellent run in the build-up to the last couple of weeks of the season, winning our last four league games in a row.

We are up against a Bradford side only one point below us in the table and will be looking for a big win away from home to maintain their chances of a playoff place.

We are currently sitting 4th in the championship, 1 point above our opponents this weekend who currently occupy 5th place in the league table.

It’s a big game for the home side, as a London win puts us in touching distance of a home playoff fixture and would put us up to 3rd with a Sheffield loss. However, a London loss with a Bradford and Batley win sinks us down into sixth place in the table ahead of the last week of the season.

It is key for London to come away with a victory this weekend before we face a relegation fighting Keighley at the Cherry Red next Sunday in our final regular season game of the year.

BUY YOUR TICKETS HERE: https://londonbroncos.ticketco.events/uk/en/e/london_broncos_v_bradford_bulls_2023

BUY YOUR TICKETS HERE: https://londonbroncos.ticketco.events/uk/en/e/london_broncos_v_bradford_bulls_2023

In detail
By Mark Evans

London Broncos have now won eleven out of fourteen games and are on a four-game winning streak.
A 52-12 win over Widnes last Sunday probably eliminated the Vikings from the play-off chase and victory against Bradford guarantees a play-off position and the probable advantage of a home tie in the opening round of eliminators.

The fixtures in the Championship this week that will be of most relevance to us are Keighley v Halifax who are in 7th, three points behind London but with an S.D of +127. The Cougars are fighting to survive in the league and are only two points ahead of Swinton in 13th, added to which the points differences are tight between the two teams.

Widnes were more or less taken out of the equation by London last week but we could do with the Vikings beating Sheffield at home to allow us to sneak into third place. The Eagles have a superior points difference of +201 compared to our +42 although Mike Eccles side improved their stats with that big win over Widnes.

Then on Monday night, York take on Batley who are currently 6th and only two points behind London with a negative points difference of -26 which is an anomaly amongst the play off pack. York still have a stake in the game but with only 26 points are long shots to sneak into the six.

The top two have of course unassailable leads with Toulouse six points ahead of third placed Sheffield with a +450 points difference and Featherstone ten points ahead of their nearest rivals with a +719 difference it looks as if they are the big favourites but London have upset the form book before!

London Broncos have now won eleven out of fourteen games and are on a four game winning streak. After only four wins in the opening ten rounds, it has been a very well timed run that has taken London to the brink of securing a top six position with third place still possible. London are in fourth place, level on points with Sheffield but have an inferior SD of +42 compared to the Eagles +201 so any slip up from Sheffield away at Widnes could benefit us.

Bradford arrive at Plough Lane in fifth place and suffered a 10-20 defeat to York Knights last weekend. With the scores level at half time, it was ex Bronco’s coach Andrew Henderson’s team that secured a win that keeps the Knights in the play off chase but they will have to wait till Monday night to play again on Viaplay against Batley. That win by York did London a big favour as we moved a point ahead of the Bulls.

Last season Bradford finished 9th.

About Bradford

Bradford Head Coach: Lee Greenwood

A former Bronco and Bulls player Lee is interim head coach at the Bulls and was with us from 2004-2005 making 33 appearances and scoring an impressive 23 tries, and he was a winger or centre who won 2 England caps. Now 42, his career has taken him to Sheffield Eagles, Halifax, Huddersfield, Leigh, Oldham and Batley. 

His coaching roles have included ,Siddal A.R.L.F.C, Gloucester All Golds and Dewsbury. He replaced Mark Dunning earlier this season.

One notable fact is that his two England caps came as a Bronco. Scoring two tries from the right wing in a 98-4 win over Russia in a European Championship tie he then lined up against Ireland on the left wing in a 36-12 victory.

Eamon O’Carroll will take over for the 2024 season leaving his role with the Catalans Dragons.

This Season:

P25. W14. D1. L10. F648. A102. Diff102. Pts29.
Top Try Scorer: Kieran Gill 18.
Top Goal: Dec Patton 74.
Top Points: Dec Patton 152.

Two Men To Watch:

Kieran Gill

A 6’3 winger or centre, 21 tries, Gill has been a big feature of the Bulls playoff bid. Well travelled he has appeared for Castleford, Oxford R.L, Oldham and Newcastle.

Micheal Lawrence

Club captain Lawrence left the Huddersfield Giants to join Bradford this season after making 324 appearances and scoring 52 tries. Nicknamed “Bruno” because of his physical likeness to the former heavyweight boxer he is 6’2 and 16st 7lbs so will be a big threat in his role at centre. A former England Knight and 5 time Jamaica international he can switch to play as prop or loose forward but expect him to try and punch holes through the middle. 

Last Time Out:

Bradford Bulls 10 York Knights 20
Half Time: 8-8
Bulls Tries: T Wynne (16)
Goals: Lilley 3/3
Bulls Man of Match: Chester Butler

Club History:

Bradford Bulls remain one of rugby league’s most iconic and famous names with a big fan base and a packed trophy cabinet. They have had a troubled recent history, even spending a season in the third tier after financial problems meant they were deducted twelve points and were relegated from the Championship. They have suffered the ignominy of being exiled from their Odsal Stadium and ground sharing at Yorkshire rivals Featherstone and Batley. Entering administration three times and even liquidation in 2017. They were promoted back to the second tier in 2018, giving club’s like Hemel Stags and Skolars bumper crowds as their loyal fans discovered grounds they never imagined they would visit for a league game.

The original Bradford F.C. were founder members of the Rugby Football League and date their formation a 160 years ago to 1863 but in 1907 the club split in two with Bradford Northern joining the Northern Union while the current football club in the city was created by the remaining players who didn’t want to play a the same code.

Bradford have won five Challenge Cups, nine League Championships and three World Club Challenges. They were a major force in Super League in the 2000’s winning the Grand Final in 1997, 2001, 2003 and in 2005.

Innovative with their marketing they played the Broncos in a Super League game at Tynecastle in 1998. The idea being to showcase Super League in Scotland. We also played the Bulls at Welford Road, Leicester in 2001.

The Bulls in the 2000’s were packed with stars like Henry and Robbie Paul, Paul Deacon, Shontayne Hape and Lesley Vainikolo the 6’2, 17st winger who rampaged through Super League before going to union.

Last ten meetings:

Bradford 32, London Broncos 16 (11/6/23)

Bradford 12, London Broncos 30 (16/7/22)

London Broncos 6, Bradford 8 (3/4/22)

London Broncos 8, Bradford 34 (27/2/22)

London Broncos 8, Bradford 33 (23/5/21)
(at Trailfinders Sports Ground, Ealing)

Bradford 14, London Broncos 18 (2/2/20)
(at Tetley’s Stadium, Dewsbury)

Bradford 12, London Broncos 56 (21/5/17)

London Broncos 42, Bradford 12 (5/3/17)
(at Trailfinders Sports Ground, Ealing)

London Broncos 30, Bradford 16 (1/5/16)
(at Trailfinders Sports Ground, Ealing)

Bradford 28, London Broncos 20 (24/3/16)

DEAN PARATA needs one appearance to reach 150 for his career:
            – 57 for London Broncos (2022-2023)
            – 25 for Featherstone Rovers (2020-2021)
            – 27 for Toulouse Olympique (2019)
            – 30 for Barrow Raiders (2018)
           – 10 for Italy (2013, 2016-2017, 2022)