London Broncos suffered a heavy defeat to Hull Kingston Rovers in their third Super 8s clash at Trailfinders Sports ground.
Rovers, the 2015 Challenge Cup finalists, started brightly with former Bronco Thomas Minns scoring twice in the opening ten minutes for the visitors.
Ben Cockayne burst through the line for KR as they showed their Super League class to edge 18-0 in the lead with Josh Mantellato kicking three from three.
Former London winger Kieran Dixon added another score for the Robins after a break from Terry Campese.
It looked as though the Broncos were down and out, but they rallied superbly, forcing Rovers into plenty of errors through some big defensive collisions.
With London gaining some ascendancy, they came close twice after neat grubbers from Jamie Soward into the Broncos’ in—goal.
It was a case of third time lucky with the London half-back dribbling the ball under the sticks before Alex Walker was able to touch down.
Soward tried the same again moments later and it proved fruitful as James Cunningham pounced on the ball to score.
Cunningham, who is nominated for the Championship’s Young Player of the Year, was industrious throughout for the Broncos and the home side appeared to have gained some decent momentum.
After the break the Rovers began to show their Super League credentials with James Greenwood and Matty Marsh both touching down to extend the lead.
Broncos could only offer a response from William Barthau, with the French international wriggling over.
Tiredness began to set in for the Broncos, as Rovers ran away with the game. Mines completed his hat-trick, with Will Jubb and James Donaldson adding to the tally of the Robins.
London Broncos head coach, was disappointed with the defeat, but said the Broncos could take heart from their.
He said: “We found ourselves 24-0 down, we got shell shocked early on and Hull KR came out firing.
“We didn’t have that intensity and pressure at time which allowed them to go into the lead, with us only touching the ball once in the first 12 minutes.
“I know that as a team, we’ll be better for this experience next season, our boys went out and had a dig. There were a few moments we didn’t show the composure needed to play at the top level.
“We spoke as a group and said that we needed to show some fight especially in the second half, we’d worked hard to get ourselves back into the game and then slipped off which is what you need to be a Super League side.
“I was very complimentary about Leigh, (who gained promotion to Super League yesterday), we’ve made it clear we are rebuilding and that’s why we moved back to west London. Playing teams like Hull KR and Leeds shows the massive progression the club has made.
“We have a very slim chance of gaining promotion this year and we know we will have to beat Salford and Featherstone over the next two weeks to stand a chance.”
London Broncos: Alex Walker, Rhys Williams, Ben Hellewell, Elliot Kear, Iliess Macani, William Barthau, Jamie Soward, Nick Slyney, James Cunningham, Mark Ioane, Daniel Harrison, Matt Garside, Jack Bussey.
Interchange : Andy Ackers, Jamie Thackray, Jon Magrin, Mark Offerdahl
Tries: Walker (26), Cunningham (34), Barthau (54)
Goals: Soward 3/3
Hull Kingston Rovers: Ben Cockayne, Kieran Dixon, Thomas Minns, Iain Thornley, Josh Mantellato, Terry Campese, Matty Marsh, Dane Tilse, Shaun Lunt, Mitch Allgood, Chris Clarkson, James Greenwood, James Donaldson.
Interchange: Kevin Larroyer, Jamie Peacock, Adam Walker, Will Jubb
Tries: Minns (2,6, 74), Cockayne (11), Dixon (15), Greenwood (41), Marsh (45, 61), Donaldson (59), Jubb (66)
Goals: Mantellato 9/10