It was a tough day at the office for the London Broncos, whose 10 game winning streak ended at the hands of Championship winners, Hull KR at KCOM Craven Park.
The home side ran in seven tries, in a game that never looked out of their control, and they started as they intended to go on – Jamie Ellis found Kieren Moss, who darted around Elliot Kear to go over on two minutes. Ellis’ kick went wide, but he wouldn’t miss another kick for the remainder of the afternoon.
London tried desperately to respond swiftly, but Pewhairangi’s kick for the line was too strong, and went dead. Man of the match, Kieren Moss got a brilliant offload to Heffernan, who looked set to break away, but a huge tackle from Pewhairangi halted him in his tracks. Shortly after, Lunt got the ball to Jewitt from dummy half, and Jewitt bagged himself a four pointer. Ellis was on target with the kick.
The 7,359 spectators in attendance had to wait a mere five minutes more for the cherry and whites to score – Addy sent a high bomb towards London’s line, and Heffernan out-jumped Rhys Williams to dot down.
Moss added the home side’s fourth on 27 minutes, after an incredible break from Carney in only his second game – leaving London for dead on the halfway line, Carney got the ball to Moss, who drove over the whitewash for his brace.
London responded five minutes later, after Hull KR were penalised for Clark interfering at play the ball. Andy Ackers managed a brilliant flick pass between his legs to the skipper, Daniel Harrison, who muscled his way over from right in front.
Addy, and Ellis respectively, added another six points to the scoreboard before the break, and London went into the sheds trailing 28 points to 4.
Momentum changed on the resumption, and the dominance of the home side was no longer. Error riddled and sloppy from both sides, Dockar-Clay was the first to add to the scoreboard on 50 minutes. On the back of a strong team attacking effort, he sidestepped Walker, and crashed over next to the uprights.
London skipper, Harrison, bagged his brace on 66 minutes. Captalising on a Robins goal line drop out, Sammut found a gap, and got a lovely pass away to the captain, who drove over once again.
Arguably the try of the game followed shortly after, when Sammut intercepted a Scruton ball on London’s 10 metre line, before racing 90 metres to score. Scruton’s chase was most certainly admirable, but not quite enough.
Mulhern added another score for the cherry and whites on 77, before Matty Gee scored a consolation four pointer for the visitors with less than a minute on the clock. Sammut added the extras as the final hooter sounded, for a final score of 40-22.
Post-match, London boss, Andrew Henderson said that though his side hadn’t quite hit their straps, it certainly wouldn’t be the defining moment in their season.
“We learned a lot about where we are today, and we certainly missed some key personnel. We haven’t played to our full capacity these last two games, but today won’t define our season.
“We couldn’t put Hull KR under any pressure in that first half. It was one way traffic.
“Ultimately, today is a day for Hull KR, they’ve deservedly won the league.”
32. Kieren Moss; 5. Ryan Shaw, 22. Andrew Heffernan, 4. Liam Salter, 36. Justin Carney; 13. Danny Addy, 7. Jamie Ellis; 8. Nick Scruton, 9. Shaun Lunt, 37. Lee Jewitt; 11. Maurice Blair, 10. Chris Clarkson, 33. Ben Kavanagh.
Subs: 21. Rob Mulhern, 17. Mitch Clark, 18. Zach Dockar-Clay, 30. Joe Cator.
Tries: Moss (2, 27), Jewitt (9), Heffernan (14), Addy (37), Dockar-Clay (50), Mulhern (77)
24. Alex Walker; 2. Rhys Williams, 1. Elliot Kear, 20. Michael Channing, 5. Kieran Dixon; 19. Api Pewhairangi, 6. Jarrod Sammut; 18. Ben Evans, 14. Andy Ackers, 17. Mark Offerdahl; 11. Daniel Harrison, 3. Ben Hellewell, 13. Jay Pitts.
Subs: 27. Ben Pointer, 23. Matthew Gee, 16. Junior Roqica, 31. Lewis Bienek.
Tries: Harrison (32, 66), Sammut (70), Gee (79)