London Broncos came to Dacia Magic weekend for the first time since 2014 looking to continue the form they had shown against Wakefield Trinity at Trailfinders only a week earlier.
The game started brightly with both sides throwing the ball around but it was Leeds who opened the scoring as Liam Sutcliffe went over and converted his own try to make it 6 – 0 after only 6 minutes.
Leeds were to pull further in fron on 10 minutes as a smart offload was taken by Ash Handley who went over in the corner to pull the Rhinos ten points in front and it was starting to look like it would be a long day for the capital side.
The Broncos kept on fighting and tried to erase the first 15 minutes from their play and on 25 minutes they broke their duck as the ball went out wide and their was Ryan Morgan to cut back inside and over the line. Kieran Dixon converted from wide out and the gap had narrowed to only four and that was the way it stayed until the halftime hooter sounded as the Broncos went in the happier side after the late exchanges.
The second half started and with a minute Leeds had gone further ahead as returning full-back Jack Walker danced through the line and over for the try. Sutcliffe missed and the score stood at 14 – 6.
The Broncos however would not lie down and last weeks four try hero, Jordan Abdull was on the scoresheet again on 49 minutes as he danced over and with Dixon missing the conversion the score was now 14 – 10.
Leeds moved further ahead on 64 minutes when Harry Newman went over to open the gap to 18 – 10 but Sutcliffe again missed the conversion and it was and 8 point game.
Leeds struck again soon afterwards through Richie Myler when a pass looked to have gone a long way forward on the floor and the players stopped but the whistle did not blow and Myler took advantage to score the try. Sutcliffe this time converted and the gap widened to 24 – 10.
As ever though the London side never gave up and went on a scoring rampage that would get them up to the Leeds tally within a four minute spell.
Jordan Abdull was first as he took a ball inside from Pitts to score and then Pitts again passed off of the floor inside to Alex Walker who dived over for another try. Dixon converted both and with 5 minutes to play the Broncos had closed the gap to two.
The Londoners never gave up during the last minutes with decisions not going as they would have liked but came up just short in the end.
Head Coach Danny Ward said afterwards, ” I didn’t think we deserved to win that one today. Leeds were the better side and we let ourselves down a bit. We didn’t come out and start either half the way we should and its disappointing. We need to be on it from one to seventeen but we came up short. Obviously the boys are disappointed in there but we look at ourselves and the game and fix it up for the next one.”
The Broncos can take a lot from that game as they now move onto a visit to Trailfinders from League Leaders St Helens.
LONDON BRONCOS :- Walker, Dixon, Morgan, Kear, Williams, Abdull, Smith, Battye, Cunningham, Butler, Pitts, Lovell, Yates
INTERCHANGES :- Richards, Fozard, Adebiyi, Gee
TRIES :- Morgan, Abdull x 2, Walker
GOALS :- Dixon 3/4
LEEDS RHINOS :- Walker, Briscoe, Newman, Watkins, Handley, L.Sutcliffe, Myler, Seumanufagai, Dwyer, Singleton, Donaldson, Smith, Merrin
INTERCHANGES :- Parcell, Peteru, Oledzki, A.Sutcliffe
TRIES :- L.Sutcliffe, Handley, Walker, Newman, Myler
GOALS :- L.Sutcliffe 2/5
Referee – James Child