London Broncos head coach Joey Grima says his team are excited to play their first friendly game against Catalans Dragons this Saturday (17th January), kick-off 5pm (local time).
“Given that we’ll be playing in less than a week’s time you can certainly see the excitement in their faces,” said Grima. “Given that every other team in Super League and Championship have had a similar pre-season, everyone is training hard and that’s the same here and I think they just want to be rewarded and get out on the pitch against a quality outfit like Catalans Dragons.”
Both the Broncos and Dragons will play strong teams and Grima confirms that he’ll play a strong side from the majority of the game.
“I’ve had discussions with Laurent Frayssinous the Catalans coach and it’s their first trial and he wants to ensure that he has his best players available and give it a really good hit out against us. We’ll do the same, we’ll predominately play our top end players for the majority of the game, we’ll have the less experienced at the back end of the game.
“Because we have 17 new players it’s a matter of blowing the cobwebs out. We’ve been good on the training pitch and you can be good against tackle pads and against your own players as they know what’s coming up so you can’t get a real accurate gauge. For us it’s to work on two or three features we’ve been working on during the off-season in where we want to finish our sets and just to be composed in what we want to do, given that we’ve got such a big turnaround of players in our roster.”
Grima says he’ll judge the game on how well the side complete their structures and combinations rather than the score line.
“In my head I haven’t got a score line,” said Grima. “I’m not saying we must win. All I know is we’re playing a side who finished in the top half of the table and arguably have the two best signings in Super League in Willie Tonga and Todd Carney, Remi Casty is back too. So arguably these are three top NRL players back in their squad.
“We’re certainly going there with the thought process that we want to come away unscathed and tick off what we’ve been working on over the last nine weeks. Our offensive structure and more so our defensive structure and what we’re trying to achieve our combinations on an edge, they’re the things that I’m looking for to determine if it’s a successful not necessarily if we win the game or not.”
Catalans Dragons vs London Broncos, kick-off 5pm (Local time)