The London Broncos Super 8s campaign ended in spectacularly anticlimactic fashion on Friday night, managing only a solitary try to Leigh’s seven, and allowing for a 4-41 defeat.
Looking as though they may be in the arm wrestle for the initial part of the game, both sides exchanged error strewn sets, until St Helens loanee, Matt Fleming, opened the scoring on twelve minutes.
The Broncos looked to have pulled one back when Cunningham flew over the whitewash, but Chris Kendall disallowed the try for a prior forward pass.
Not managing to notch a single point in the first 40 minutes, London managed mostly to keep Leigh at bay, conceding only one additional try before the half time whistle – Hansen crossed under the sticks, and Reynolds added the extras from right in front.
HALF TIME: 0-12
On the resumption, Neil Jukes’ men wasted no time – it took Hopkins only two minutes to bag himself a four pointer, and Clare followed shortly after,
London’s only score of the night came just after the 60 minute mark – Leigh couldn’t capitalise on a scrum awarded, and coughed up possession. The resulting Broncos scrum on their 40 metre line culminated in Matt Gee spotting his break on the right wing, and racing over to dot down. Sammut couldn’t convert.
In the following 20 minutes, the Broncos attacking and defensive efforts capitulated. Further scores followed from Reynolds, Drinkwater, and Maria, and on the full time hooter, Drinkwater added insult to injury, nailing a drop goal attempt.
Head coach, Andrew Henderson, couldn’t hide his disappointment in his side post-match.
“There was a game there where tonight we had an opportunity to put in a performance and deliver a result, and what we delivered was embarrassing.
“I feel really embarrassed and let down by that. I hoped we’d make amends for last week against Widnes, and we were worse; to be honest.
“The Broncos we know, had built up a resilience, determination and strength of character this season. We didn’t see any of that tonight.
“It’s almost an anticlimax to the end of the year for the Broncos, as we had such an exciting season with twists and turns and we were on fire in the back end of the Championship season.
“I don’t want to be too downbeat. It’s just a tough pill to swallow at the end of what’s been a very good season.”
24. Alex Walker, 2. Rhys Williams, 3. Ben Hellewell, 20. Michael Channing, 1. Elliot Kear, 6. Jarrod Sammut, 7. William Barthau, 15. Eddie Battye, 9. James Cunningham, 18. Ben Evans, 23. Matt Gee, 13. Jay Pitts, 22. Matt Davis.
Interchange: 34. John Boudebza, 12. Matt Garside, 8. Tom Spencer, 31. Lewis Bienek.
Tries: Gee (63)
Goals: Sammut 0/1
19. Ryan Hampshire, 5. Matthew Dawson, 3. Ben Crooks, 31. Matthew Fleming, 28. James Clare, 20. Ben Reynolds, 7. Josh Drinkwater, 16. Antoni Maria, 21. Liam Hood, 1. Danny Tickle, 17. Atelea Vea, 12. Glenn Stewart, 29. Lachlan Burr.
Interchange: 14. Eloi Pelissier, 13. Harrison Hansen, 23. Sam Hopkins, 35. Greg Richards
Tries: Fleming (12), Hansen (33), Hopkins (42), Clare (54), Reynolds (71), Drinkwater (73), Maria (76)
Goals: Reynolds 6/7
Drop Goals: Drinkwater 1/1