London Broncos reserves made the journey across the capital to White Hart Lane to face London Skolars at New River Stadium on Saturday.
Tom Tsang had the ability to name 7 first team players as they looked to get more game time into their legs before the start of the Championship season on February 2nd.
The Broncos started well winning most of the early encounters and it was the visitors who were to open the scoring on 6 minutes when Ollie Ashall- Bott collected the ball and danced through the line to score his first try in a Broncos shirt. Rob Oakley stepped up from wide out a put the ball through the posts to open up an early six point lead.
The first team players were starting to tick and the reserves stepped up to their level and only 5 minutes later after good work from the hooker Sam Davis crashed over the line to score. Oakley again duly converted and the lead was now 12.
With 16 minutes on the clock Ashall- Bott showed what he is capable of picking up the ball on the 5m line, sliding down the touchline evading a tackle and then cutting back inside beating five men and making the halfway line with the run.
The excitement was, however , short lived as the fullback left the field and was replaced by new reserve signing Lawrence Haywood.
Haywood did not look out of place and when 27 minutes came around Haywood collected a pass out wide and ghosted down the Skolars left wing to score next to the posts. Oakley converted yet again and suddenly the gap was at 18 points and the Broncos did not look finished.
They clearly wanted more tries and only two minutes later the Skolars top try scorer for 2019, Jordan Williams, had collected an inside pass stepped off of his left foot and was over for another try. Haywood took over the kicking and missed wide but the lead was out to 22 points to nil.
Play carried on towards halftime with sets being traded and just as the whistle was about to blow Skolars got onto the scoreboard through Jerome Yates who got down the line and dived over to score in the corner. Former Bronco Mikey Bishay hit the uprights with the conversion attempt and the sides went in with the score at 22 points to four to the Broncos.
Skolars came out for the second half with a bit more fight but the Broncos soaked up the pressure and but for a try saving tackle from Jonah Varela the hosts would have been in early in the half.
Sam Davis thought he had scored again but the referee ruled it out and we carried on.
On 59 minutes the Broncos were in again this time through Oli Leyland. Morgan Smith dabbed a kick through on the last tackle which hit the post protector and there was Leyland to grab the ricochet and dive under the posts. Haywood could not miss from in front and the score stood at 28 points to four.
Four minutes later and the scoring continued as Haywood went in for his second of the afternoon when he latched onto a looping pass from Josh Hodson to score in the corner. He converted his own try from the tightest of angles and the score was now 34 points to four.
The Skolars came with some late pressure as they forced three goal line dropouts on the trot but the Broncos defence held out. Guy Armitage then showed the form he had when scoring a hat trick on dual reg with Skolars last season as he collected the ball and flew down the wing only to be stopped on the 5m line.
The centre was not to e denied though and on 73 minutes he collected the ball inside his own 20m line and powered all the way over for the try. Oakley was back on and resumed where he left off converting four from four and as the whistle blew the reserves had triumphed by 40 points to 4.
Head Coach Tom Tsang said, “Overall there were a lot of positives to be able to take away. I think there were periods where we were far too scrappy and gave away far too much possession of the ball. We could have been more dominant but I felt we took the tries well and it was good to see Lawrence (Haywood) bag a couple. On the whole it was great to get the result.”
The reserves move onto their season now with atrip to face Huddersfield Giants away from Home.