London Broncos faced a strong Leeds Rhinos side on Sunday knowing that their fate was in their hands and three wins would secure their future in Super League for the 2020 season.
It didn’t start as expected as the Broncos very first kick went dead in goal and put the visitors firmly on the front foot.
Eight minutes on the clock and the Rhinos had opened the scoring as Elliot Kear tried an offload that somehow ended up in the hands of Luke Briscoe who was away unchallenged and over behind the posts. Rhyse Martin, who was impeccable with the boot again converted and the Rhinos led 0 – 6.
The Broncos hit back at the visitors and pressurised the Rhinos line as firstly Luke yates was held up over the line before they forced back to back goal line dropouts from under the Leeds posts.
The pressure though came to nothing as a knock on stopped the hosts in their tracks.
The next Leeds try cam after a penalty against London and there was Ava Seumanufagai to crash over and extend the lead to 10. Martin again converted and they led by 12 points to nil with 23 minutes gone.
On 26 minutes the Broncos thought they had scored as following a penalty to the hosts Abdull collected and looked to have touched down but was adjudged to have been put into touch.
The Broncos continued to fight and hold Leeds out but on 39 minutes Trent Merrin broke the line, offloaded to Jack Walker and the young full back beat three London players to the line to score. Martin again converted and on the hooter the Broncos trailed by 18 points to nil.
Danny Ward sent his side out early and with three minutes gone of the half that man Kieran Dixon did what he does best. The winger intercepted on his own 10 metre line and was away and under the posts for his 98th try in a Broncos shirt. He converted himself and the hosts were showing signs of recovery.
The Broncos scored next and closed the gap further as the ball went through the hands and along pass out to our right saw Ryan Morgan collect and power over into the corner and the Broncos had closed the gap to eight points. Dixon missed the kick and it was certainly on for the Broncos comeback.
The fairytale ending did not however materialize as the Rhinos seemed to go up a gear and Tries from Handley, Walker with his second and Brad Dwyer put paid to the Broncos moving level with the pack on 20 points.
Late on Kieran Dixon saw Yellow for holding down Harry Newman and Elliot Kear was put on report and also yellow carded for dissent as the frustration started to tell.
The Broncos now travel to Hull KR next Friday night and MUST win to stay in Super League for 2020.
It was in their hands but is now dependent on the teams around them as they continue to fight for their survival.
LONDON BRONCOS :- Walker, Dixon, Morgan, Kear, Williams, Abdull, Lamb, Battye, Cunningham, Krasniqi, Pitts, Lovell, Yates
INTERCHANGE :- Mason, Fozard, Gee, Butler
TRIES :- Dixon, Morgan
Goals :- Dixon 1/2
LEEDS RHINOS :- Walker, Briscoe, Hurrell, Newman, Handley, Lui, Myler, Oledzki, Dwyer, Seumanufagai, Ferres, Martin, Merrin
INTERCHANGES:- Smith, Cuthbertson, Sutcliffe, Donaldson
TRIES :- Briscoe, Walker x 2, Seumanufagai, Handley, Dwyer
GOALS :- 6/6
Ref:- Robert Hicks