London Broncos travelled to Perpignan hoping to win back to back games and improve on their record against a strong Catalans Dragons side. The last time the capital side won against the Dragons was back in 2010 and was still Harlequins Rugby League.
Danny Ward kept faith with the side that had beaten St Helens the week before hoping to bring the two points back home to the UK.
Matty Gee unfortunately picked up an injury in the warm up and in stepped Matt Fleming but the Broncos were not to be fazed by the last minute change and within five minutes of the kick off had kept the Dragons under enough pressure to force an early goal line dropout.
With 11 minutes on the clock the Broncos drew first blood as Morgan Smith dabbed a kick through the line and Abdull gratefully accepted the bounce of the ball to score under the posts. Dixon, who was good with the boot all evening, converted and the Broncos had grabbed an early lead.
The try seemed to bring the Dragons to life when after a hit on Abdull the ball came free for Dragons to pick up and go the length of the field only to be stopped by Walker but on the ensuing play the ball went wide and Fouad Yaha was over to open the French side’s account. Tomins missed the kick and with only 16 gone the Broncos led 6 – 4.
Sets were traded until the last tackle of a Broncos set when Jordan Abdull, in the move of the half, threw a fake and went through a hole, traded passes with Pitts, ran for the line before offloading over the head of the defending player to Rhys Williams to score in the corner. Dixon converted well from out wide and the gap had widened to 12 – 4 to the visitors.
Catalans refused to lie down but the Broncos were limiting their chances before on 31 minutes Yaha scored again in the same corner with Tomkins again missing wide.
On 36 minutes another upset for the visitors as Matt Fleming was carried from the field but they held on until the hooter and led 12 – 8 at the break.
Every half of Rugby is huge for this gritty London side and they cam back out with an air of determination.
Catalans kept coming at the line but were repelled on each occasion until on 59 minutes that man Abull again dabbed through the line and Elliot Kear with a brilliant pick up was over and after a short video Ref review had scored on his 250th career appearance. Dixon converted and the gap was now 10 at 18 points to 8.
On 64 minutes another Catalans chance went begging as the pass went into touch. From the scrum the ball went wide and Kieran Dixon pounced found the gap and was over for the try in the corner. He could not convert his own try but with 14 minutes to play the gap was up to 14 points.
70 minutes in and a high tackle on Olsi Krasniqi right in front of the posts was pounced upon and Dixon took the two as the ball flew through the uprights.
London fans could be forgiven in thinking the win was in the bag and it was after 73 minutes when the ball went through hands again and Rhys Williams danced over for his second of the game. Dixon converted his fifth out of six and when Yaha went over for his hat trick on 76 minutes it was purely a consolation try. Matty Smith took over the kicking but was also to miss and as the hooter went London had won their first back to back Super League wins since 2013.
Talking after the game Head Coach Danny Ward said, ” The boys had that must win mentality today. They just went out there and worked their socks of for each other. We are not the flashiest team on paper but they are working hard every day.
When asked if he was surprised with the result Ward said, “Not at all. We go into every game confident we can win it. We know if we can perform well we can compete with the other teams in this league. We are not getting carried away and are still bottom of the table but its puts us in good stead.”
Next up is Hull Kingston Rovers at Trailfinders and the Broncos will be looking to take the chance of moving off the foot of the table.
LONDON BRONCOS :- Walker, Dixon, Morgan, Kear, Williams, Abdull, Smith, Battye, Cunningham, Krasniqi, Pitts, Fleming, Yates
INTERCHANGES :- Fozard, Richards, Ioane, Butler
TRIES :- Abdull, Williams x2, Kear, Dixon
GOALS :- Dixon 5/6
CATALANS DRAGONS :- Gigot, Romano, Mead, Langi, Yaha, Tomkins, Smith, Bousquet, Da Costa, Simon, Jullien, Garcia
INTERCHANGES :- Goudemand, Maria, Baitieri, Kasiano
TRIES :- Yaha x 3
Goals Tomkins 0/2 Smith 0/1