London Broncos secured a fifth successive win this afternoon, after defeating Bradford Bulls 30-16. With the sun beating down in Ealing, the Broncos made the most of the conditions, running in six tries as they moved six points ahead of their rivals from West Yorkshire.
The Bulls started much the brighter of the two teams, Danny Addy on the end of a flowing move that saw the ball move through the hands of the Bradford right edge. Addy missed the difficult touchline conversion.
The Broncos warmed to the occasion, and on nineteen minutes, were level, a superb kick through the line by William Barthau took an awkward bounce and saw Ben Hellewell win the race to the ball to touch down. Barthau missed the conversion as the scores remained 4-4.
Three minutes later and the Bulls were back in front, Kris Welham twisting and turning his way to the try line in the left corner. Again, in difficult kicking conditions, Addy missed the conversion attempt from out wide and the difference remained four points.
As before, the Broncos worked their way back level, a miss pass from William Barthau managed to release Rhys Williams down the left wing and the Welsh flyer raced over to score in the left corner. The angle again proved too difficult for Barthau with the conversion, and the score stayed at 8-8.
With the clock ticking ever closer to half time, Bradford turned up the pressure on the Broncos line. Alex Mellor got close to the line for the Bulls, before Kris Welham picked up from the dummy half to scoot over and score. Addy successfully added the conversion and the Bulls led 14-8 at the interval.
Hendo’s half time words worked, as Andy Ackers picked up from acting half to cross from short range down the left edge two minutes after the re-start. However, the wind got a hold of Barthau’s conversion attempt and the ball drifted wide of the target.
Barthau did kick his first goal of the afternoon on 47 minutes, when London were awarded a penalty after Adam O’Brien was adjudged offside by the referee from a Bulls drop-out. The successful penalty leveling the scores at 14-14.
The Bulls again took the lead in the 55th minute, Danny Addy adding a penalty for a high tackle by the Broncos.
Short of the hour, the Broncos took the lead for the first time in the game. Good work from Iliess Macani got the home side into good field position before two offloads to Jon Magrin and Andy Ackers saw the substitute hooker score his second try of the afternoon. Jack Bussey took over the kicking duties, and kicked the conversion to give the hosts a 20-16 lead.
A yellow card on the hour reduced the Bulls to twelve men for ten minutes following an alleged use of the head by Dale Ferguson, and the Broncos made good use of the extra man. A minute later, the ball was sent to the left and full-back Elliot Kear sent out a long ball to Rhys Williams who scored in the corner. Bussey missed the conversion attempt and the scores remained 24-16.
The Broncos sealed the two points nine minutes from time, when James Cunningham picked up from acting half to score from close range under the posts, which allowed an easy conversion for Bussey to kick to give the hosts a 30-16 lead.
Tempers flared in the dying moments with Nick Slyney and Mitch Clark both being sent to the sin bin following a brief difference of opinions, but the Broncos held on to their lead to keep pace with Leigh Centurions and build the gap to third place to six points.
Elliot Kear, Rhys Williams, Ben Hellewell, Alex Foster, Iliess Macani, Jack Bussey, Will Barthau, Nick Slyney, James Cunningham, Mark Offerdahl, Daniel Harrison, Matt Garside, Jon Magrin
Interchange: Andy Ackers, Matt Davis, Mark Ioane, Eddie Battye
Tries: Hellewell (19), Williams (28, 61), Ackers (42, 58), Cunningham (71)
Goals: Barthau 1/4, Bussey 2/3
James Clare, Omari Caro, Oscar Thomas, Kris Welham, Danny Williams, Kurt Haggerty, Danny Addy, Paul Clough, Joe Lumb, Steve Crossley, Tom Olbison, Dale Ferguson, Jay Pitts
Interchange: Adam Sidlow, Mitch Clark, Adam O’Brien, Alex Mellor
Tries: Addy (3), Welham (22, 39),
Goals: Addy 2/4