London Broncos made it back to back wins, over the Championship bottom two, with a 58 – 22 win over Swinton Lions on Sunday 24th June.
The Broncos kept up their good form with a victory but the Lions were in the match for long periods and matched the Broncos for large parts of the first half.
London started well and when a good passing movement moved out wide there was Rhys Williams scoring after four minutes in the left corner. Kieran Dixon missed the conversion and London lead by four points to nil. The Lions quickly hit back when some good build-up saw Chris Hankinson score as he went over on the left and landed the conversion to put the visitors in front. Suddenly Swinton defied their bottom two place and went further ahead following a penalty against Matty Davies as Joe Brown went over for the first of his three tries in the corner with Hankinson missing the conversion.
London hit back and on fifteen minutes Kieran Dixon collected a Lions high kick in his own ten and raced the length of the pitch with the Lions defence on his heels but the winger was far too quick and ran the 90 metres to score next to the posts. He then converted his own try own try and when James Cunningham cut inside the last defender the hosts were back in front with Dixon again converting.
Swinton, however, refused to lie down and before the break, Rhodri Lloyd fed the ball to Brown to score his second and Hankinson converted. The Swinton defence fell asleep in the dying seconds of the half when Jarrod Sammut, on his 50th appearance for London, kicked through by the posts he was not going to let anyone beat him to the ball and scored a great try under the posts. Dixon converted on the hooter and the Broncos took a slender lead in at halftime by 22 points to 16.
Danny Ward had, in his words, had given a “Mike Bassett” type team talk at halftime and the play at the start of the second half was a marked improvement on the first. The one blot was when Eddie Battye was sent to the sin bin early in the second half but the team still managed to run in two tries while he was off with Kear going over with great strength in the corner and Pewhairangi showing good footwork to make his way over the line with Dixon kicking both.
The temperature did not seem to affect the home side but the Lions looked like it was taking its toll with the visitors conceding four more tries in a nine-minute period midway through the second half. Sammut picked up his second with a great run and dive to the line. Matt Davis picked up from dummy half, after good work from Matty Davies, and dived over. Jay Pitts celebrated his new two-year deal with a typical storming run over the line and Alex Walker took a great catch from a high ball to run free of the defenders to score under the posts. Dixon converted all of them,. The Lions, to their credit, bagged a late consolation try but the work had already been done by a London side needing the two points to continue the push to the Super 8’s.
Head Coach Danny Ward said, ” I thought we were very disrespectful in the first half to them (Swinton), ourselves and the ball. There was too much complacency out there. Our discipline let us down too today. I am not sure it was all warranted but we were scrappy in the first half.”
When asked about Jarrod Sammut on his 50th appearance Ward said, ” Jarrod played well today and gave us a lift when he came on. It’s a nice dilemma to have with him coming off of the bench and I am pleased he has reached the 50 games here for us.”
LONDON BRONCOS:- Walker, Dixon, Fleming, Kear, Williams, Pewhairangi, Cunningham, Ioane, Davies, Evans, Pitts, Hindmarsh, Davis
INTERCHANGE:- (All Used) Battye, Gee, Adebiyi, Sammut.
TRIES :- Williams(4), Dixon(14), Cunningham(19), Sammut(39, 64), Kear(51), Pewhairangi(55), Davis(66), Pitts(70), Walker(73)
GOALS – Dixon 9/10
SIN BIN – Battye
SWINTON LIONS:- Fell, Butt, Lloyd, Mullen, Brown, Hankinson, J.Hansen, Bracek, Ganson, Austin, Thornley, Hope, Shelford.
SUBS (All):- Nzoungou, Worrall, H.Hansen, Hall.
TRIES:- Hankinson (9), Brown (12,35,79)
London Broncos now face two tough away trips to Batley and Toulouse respectively and the boys will be looking to bring four points back to Trailfinders before the last, crucial home game of the season against Halifax on the 15th July.