London Broncos bounced back, yesterday, after losing two consecutive games, with a record win over the visitors the Rochdale Hornets.
With defeats at Summer Bash and in Toronto very much in the forefront of the minds of fans and players alike, the Broncos brushed a tenacious Rochdale side aside in a 12 try spree.
Head Coach, Danny Ward, had made changes following the Canada visit with Daniel Hindmarsh and Matty Davies coming into the starting lineup. Kieran Dixon returned to the wing and Ben Evans also returned to the bench. Captain, Jay Pitts, was playing in his 50th game for the Broncos.
The visitors started well, putting pressure onto the Broncos early on and sets were traded with no hint of what was to transpire in the game.
The deadlock was broken on eight minutes when James Cunningham, playing in the halves, broke the line and his pass went to Pitts who fittingly opened the scoring. Dixon was on kicking duty, with Sammut missing through illness, and he converted to open a six-point lead.
Within six minutes the score was doubled when the ball went through the hands of the Broncos and out wide where Dixon scored in the corner. He converted again and the scoreboard read 12 – 0.
The halves, James Cunningham and Api Pewhairangi, were kicking well all day and on 18 minutes a great angled kick from Cunningham saw Walker burst through and force a goal-line dropout. From the resulting play Pewhairangi was taken high and on the next set, the Kiwi dabbed a lovely ball through for Dixon to pounce on for his second try in seven minutes. Again the winger converted his own try and the lead was up to 18 – 0.
The hosts messed up the catch from the kick off in one of the few errors on the day but the ball came back to them with Dixon, whose pace was a problem for the visitors all day, offloaded to Hindmarsh who in turn passed out wide to Williams. The Welshman was tackled but a quick play of the ball saw Pitts pick up and go over for his second try. Dixon missed this time and it was 22-0.
Three minutes later Matt Fleming chipped the ball over the Rochdale defence, on the last tackle and the defender who initially caught the ball decided to offload straight into the hands of a rushing Pewhairangi who needed no excuse to fly over the line for the try. Dixon missed the kick again and the scoreboard was ticking over steadily to 26-0.
The Broncos broke again straight from the kick off this time. Williams was in acres of space on the left following Walker’s breakaway but the pass from the fullback was judged to be a forward one and another chance had gone begging. But not for long as on the very next set, with 32 minutes on the clock, a Dixon run ended up with Cunningham going over the line for his first of the day. Dixon’s kicking boots returned to form with the conversion and with six minutes of the half to play the Broncos now led 32-0.
Rochdale started to put pressure on the hosts and back to back penalties saw the Hornets up to the London line but a knock on led to a storming run from Adebiyi and when Cunningham stepped into dummy half his pass put in his halfback partner, Pewhairangi for his second. The extras were again added by Dixon and at the halftime hooter, the Broncos found themselves ahead by 38 points to nil.
The second half continued where the first had left off and within a minute of the kick off Pewhairangi’s kick had the hit the uprights and fallen into the arms of Ben Evans who was over to open the scoring. Dixon kicked and the points were now racking up at 44 -0.
London Broncos were not going to take their foot off of the gas clearly and as the second half went on the points just kept on coming.
Alex Walker got on the scoresheet on 49 minutes following an inside pass from Pewhairangi. On 61 minutes the Kiwi completed his Hat-Trick as he pounced onto a Cunningham kick. Cunningham went over for his brace on 67 minutes when the favour was returned by Pewhairangi’s kick through and Walker rounded things off on 71 minutes when great work from Fleming and Pewhairangi set the fullback through for another try beside the posts.
Dixon converted each of the second half tries and saw the Broncos win by a club record points difference of 68 points to nil.
With the game being played for The John Sullivan Trophy, in memory of the former Harlequins RL Academy player, Johns brother James and Father Mark were on hand to present the trophy to Captain Jay Pitts and also present the Grillville Man of the Match award to James Cunningham.
Head Coach Danny Ward said, “I thought we were ruthless today. The halves kicked fantastically well and we managed to score all over the park. We now need another good performance next week against Swinton Lions and no one can be complacent with every game now being a Cup Final.”
The Broncos now entertain Swinton on June 24th at Trailfinders and will need all the support they can get. Get your ticket now and make sure your voice is heard as the boys strive for that top four finish.
LONDON BRONCOS :- Walker, Dixon, Fleming, Kear, Williams, Pewhairangi, Cunningham, Spencer, Davies, Ioane, Pitts, Hindmarsh, M.Davis
INTERCHANGE :- ( All Used), Battye, Evans, Adebiyi, S.Davis
TRIES :- Pitts (8,24), Dixon (14,21), Pewhairangi (27, 39, 61),Cunningham (32, 67), Evans (41), Walker (49, 71)
GOALS:- Dixon 10/12
ROCHDALE HORNETS:- Kay, Fox, Pomeroy, Talatoka, Massam, Syme, Whittaker, Taira, Moores, King, T.Adamson, Mitchell, Brickhill
INTERCHANGE :- (All Used), Gregory, Hatton, Moran, L.Adamson
Buy Tickets for the game against Swinton here :- https://londonbroncosrl.com/match-day-ticket-sales/