London Broncos put the disappointment of their previous two games by beating Toulouse Olympique by 34 points to 8 on Sunday 9th September putting them above their French visitors and into the Million Pound Game places.
Toulouse arrived on the back of a 42-22 win over Super League Widnes in confident mood but it was the home side who started the better of the two and within seven minutes the hosts saw a pin point grubber kick from Jarrod Sammut collected by James Cunningham who dotted down to open the scoring. Sammut converted and the slow starts against Leeds and Toronto where a distant memory.
Twelve minutes in and Rhys Williams found a gap in the Toulouse defence and was away until somehow Mark Kheirallah somehow manged to tap the Welshman’s ankle and prevent the score. From the resulting play the visitors gave up a penalty to the left of the posts and Sammut stepped up to slot it home and widen the gap to 8.
Toulouse were always going to retaliate and that they did on 19 minutes when the Broncos defence was breached and centre Arthur Romano went over to open the French side’s account. Kheirallah missed the conversion and the lead had been halved.
London were given another penalty on 20 minutes for a flop in the tackle and Sammut stepped up for a kick in front of the posts only to see it hit those posts and bounce down to the opposition.
Play went back and forth between the sides until on 28 minutes the vistors threw a pass out wide only to see, as ever, Kieran Dixon intercept and run 70 metres and under the posts to extend the home side’s lead. Sammut converted and with 29 minutes gone it was 14 points to four.
The Broncos clearly saw that the time was right to put even more pressure on their French counterparts and within six minutes fullback Alex Walker had taken a lovely pass from Cunningham and glided through the defence and over for the try. Sammut continued his run and converted again. Walker was again on the scoresheet three minutes later as again breached the Toulouse back line and over the whitewash. Sammut kicked the extra two again and as the hooter went for halftime London Broncos led by 26 points to four.
Toulouse Coach, Sylvain Houles, sent his side out very early for the start of the second half and the increased intensity showed what his halftime chat was all about. The Broncos, however, were excellent in defence and on 50 minutes Dixon almost scored again in the corner but this was unfortunately to be his last involvement as he collided with the hoardings and did not return to the field.
Elliot Kear put in a great charge for the line on 56 minutes but was held up over the line but the home side just kept on pressing. Toulouse kicked on the last and Williams carried the ball but was stopped by Bastien Canet who appeared to kick out at the Welsh winger and the referee produced a yellow card and Canet spent 10 minutes in the bin.
Another penalty against the visitors on 62 minutes for stripping the ball from Battye saw Sammut step up and kick the two points on offer and the score went to 28 points to 4 with less than 20 minutes to play.
Toulouse continued to throw the ball around the park but did so one time too many and there was Scottish international, Ben Hellewell, to catch on his own 5 metre line and leave the opposition in his wake by sprinting the length of the pitch and over the line. Sammut converted for the fifth time and the score was now 34 points to four.
Toulouse hooker, Stanislas Robin scored a late consolation try but the Broncos were not going to be denied and as the Hooter went the Broncos had won the game and leapfrogged their opponents up into fifth in the table with a 34 points to eight victory.
London now travel away to Hull KR in the next round of the qualifiers and then return to Trailfinders to face Salford Red Devils on the 23rd of September.
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LONDON BRONCOS :- Walker, Dixon, Hellewell, Kear, Williams, Cunningham, Sammut, Ioane, Davis, Evans, Pitts, Hindmarsh, Battye
INTERCHANGE:- (All Used) Gee, Harrison, Adebiyi, Pelissier
TRIES:- Cunningham (7), Dixon (28), Walker ( 36,39), Hellewell ( 74)
GOALS:- Sammut 7/8
TOULOUSE OLYMPIQUE :- Kheirallah, Marcon, Romano, Ader, Centrone, Ford, Robin, Bretherton, Marion, Puech, Curran, Planas, Rapira
INTERCHANGE:- (All Used) Barthau, Canet, Hepi, Seguier
TRIES:- Romano (18), Robin (76)
GOALS :- Kheirallah 0/2
SIN BIN :- Canet (57)
REFEREE :- Thomas Grant.