London Broncos staged another second half comeback against Toronto Wolfpack on Saturday but had left too much to do after being kept scoreless in the first half.
Broncos travelled to Canada for the second time to face the Wolfpack in the Super 8s qualifiers having beaten Widnes and lost to Leeds with the Toronto side on the same points.
London started well but as the half went on they started to get outplayed by the Championship winners and by half time tries from Wallace, Stanley and O’Brien and four goals from the fullback saw the visitors go into the break down by 20 points to nil.
Danny Ward will no doubt have read the riot act at halftime as London looked tired and were second best throughout the first period.
With Wards’ words no doubt ringing in their ears the Broncos collected the kick off. The ball went to captain Jay Pitts who carried it forward but within 30 seconds of the restart Josh McCrone had stripped the ball and the lead had been stretched to 24. O’Brien again kicked the extras and the gap was out to 26 points.
Eight minutes later and another Toronto set as they kicked on the last tackle and the Broncos seemed to just stand and watch as former Bronco, Mason Caton-Brown, chased his own kick though the defence to score under the posts. The kick from O’Brien was good and with 52 minutes gone the Broncos found themselves with a massive uphill battle trailing by 32 points.
On 56 minutes, however, the Broncos seemed to spark into life with Matt Davis and Eddie Battye putting in some huge hits on the Toronto players and it paid off as only two minutes later the ball was played to Cunningham, who took the hit, and the ball went to Rhys Williams who went over in the corner. Jarrod Sammut missed the conversion but the visitors were finally on the scoreboard.
The next ten minutes went crazy and saw London Broncos score three unanswered tries. The first a jinking run from Alex Walker, converted by Sammut. Ben Evans crashed over and forced the ball down over the line and the try was again converted. Suddenly the Broncos had halved the deficit and on 68 minutes we got even closer as Matt Davis looked to be almost over the line and the in goal touch judge gave the try and was finally backed up by the referee. Again Sammut converted and we were within 10 points.
73 minutes gone and a hanging kick, on the last tackle, from James Cunningham, saw Dixon go up for the kick but could not quite get there and knocked it dead. From the restart Matt Davis put in a huge hit and forced a knock on and London were on the attack again.
Three minutes later and London were knocking on the now somewhat shaky Toronto door and when Mark Ioane burst through the Kiwi seemed to have got the ball down but was adjudged to have been held up over the line.
Toronto knocked on again on the next play and as Sammut carried the ball he was stopped by Whiting. The halfback played the ball but there was some pushing between the two which led to them both seeing yellow and a session in the bin.
The Wolfpack, from this point, ran down the clock and as the hooter sounded the Wolfpack came out on top by 34 points to 22.
London will now face a confident Toulouse, who beat Widnes 42-22, next week back at Trailfinders on September 9th with a 3 O’clock kick off.
Tickets are available at :- londonbroncosrl.com/match-day-ticket-sales
LONDON BRONCOS:- Walker, Dixon, Hellewell, Williams, Kear, Cunningham, Sammut, Battye, Pelissier, Evans, Pitts, Hindmarsh, Davis
INTERCHANGE :- (All Used) Spencer, Harrison, Gee, Ioane
TRIES :- Williams (58), Walker (63), Evans (65), Davis (68)
GOALS :- Sammut 3/4
TORONTO WOLFPACK:- O’Brien, Caton-Brown, Stanley, Wheeler, Russell, McCrone, Wallace, Buchanan, Beswick, Lussick, Dixon, Whiting, Emmitt
INTERCHANGE :- (All Used) Ackers, Sidlow, Krasniqi, Sims
TRIES:- Wallace (5), O’Brien (12), Stanley (19), McCrone (41), Caton-Brown (52)
GOALS :- 6/6
Referee – Scott Mikalauskas.