It was a disappointing afternoon at Belle Vue, as the Broncos suffered a 32-20 defeat at the hands of Sheffield Eagles.
A try each from Jay Pitts, Ben Evans, Kieran Dixon and Elliot Kear was not enough to secure the win against a dogged Sheffield side.
The defeat sees the Broncos stay fourth in the Championship, behind Toulouse, Featherstone and leaders, Hull KR.
London started well, with Pitts opening the scoring on eight minutes on the back of an excellent off-load by Ben Hellewell. Jarrod Sammut’s conversion attempt was wide.
Sheffield hit back through Elliot Minchella who crossed twice in the space of eight minutes, with Simon Brown converting both tries to give the Eagles a 12-4 lead after 23 minutes.
It only got worse for London on 33 minutes, as a neat off-load from Menzie Yere put Gary Lo in at the corner. Brown was on target once again, before also adding a penalty to give Sheffield a commanding 20-4 lead at the interval.
Sheffield extended their lead straight after the restart thanks to a strong run down the left from Yere. Brown added the extras to further the Eagles’ lead to 22 points.
The Broncos enjoyed their most successful spell of the game 10 minutes after half-time, running in three tries in the space of five minutes.
Evans barged his way over from close range, before Dixon scored the try of the game with a magnificent leap to collect Sammut’s cross-field kick. Sammut converted the Evans try, but fired wide with the second conversion attempt.
Kear went in under the sticks after a great break up the middle by Mark Ioane, and Sammut converted to give the Broncos a fighting chance at 26-20 down.
However that was as close as the Broncos came to reducing the deficit, as Sheffield hit back with a neat grubber kick collected by Duane Straughier in the 68th minute. Brown kept up his perfect kicking display to make it 32-20.
The Broncos desperately tried to break the Sheffield line in the final 10 minutes, but the Eagles defence held firm to seal their win.
Inconsistent, was the word Andrew Henderson used to describe his side’s opening eight games; “That’s been the London Broncos so far this season. Again; encouraging signs at parts throughout the game, but once again gave ourselves too much to do, and put ourselves under too much pressure.
“We can’t keep disrespecting the opposition we face.
“We’ve been beaten with attitude today. We were out-enthused and out-energised. We lacked that respect for possession.
“Too many players are taking shortcuts out there, and we’re just not showing that will or want, or the hunger that we really want it.
“We are where we are. We’re doing it tough, and facing some adversity as a team. The reality is, we have to galvanise and come through it. This group of players needs to make a decision now – to focus, and to do their jobs better, and to the potential that I know they can.”
18. Ryan Miller, 2. Gary Lo, 3. Menzie Yere, 23. Jake Spedding, 5. Ben Blackmore, 6. Simon Brown, 12. Elliot Minchella, 8. Scott Wheeldon, 9. Matthew Fozard, 10. Mark Mexico, 11. Matthew James, 12. Duane Straughier, 19. William Hope
Subs: 12. Gregory Burns, 15. Kyle Trout, 16. Sam Scott, 22. Liam Johnson
Tries: Minchella (15, 22), Lo (33), Yere (41), Straughier (67)
Goals: Brown 6/6
1. Elliot Kear, 2. Rhys Williams, 3. Ben Hellewell, 4. Adrian Purtell, 5. Kieran Dixon, 6. Jarrod Sammut, 7. Will Barthau, 18. Ben Evans, 33. Lewis Foster, 10. Mark Ioane, 11. Daniel Harrison, 13. Jay Pitts, 9. James Cunningham
Subs: 19. Api Pewhairangi, 23. Matt Gee, 16. Junior Roqica, 28. Sadiq Adebiyi
Tries: Pitts (8), Evans (48), Dixon (51), Kear (53)
Goals: Sammut 2/4