London claimed an emphatic first win in the Qualifiers on Sunday afternoon, downing fellow Championship side, Halifax, 36-14 to keep the dream of reaching the Million Pound Game well and truly alive.
Three tries inside the first 15 minutes allowed the home side an 18-4 advantage early on, and though the visitors battled valiantly to keep up, they never quite managed to catch the home side.
They were however, first on the scoreboard, when Tyrer collected Murrell’s high bomb on two minutes, grounding to the left of the uprights. The centre failed to convert, but the visitors took an early lead nonetheless.
London responded in sensational fashion, bagging three tries in ten minutes, courtesy of Barthau, Walker and Ackers. Barthau went in first, after a brilliant offload from Matt Davis, shortly followed by Championship Young Player of the Year nominee, Alex Walker, who went over under the uprights courtesy of Barthau and Kear.
On 16 minutes, Andy Ackers crossed from dummy half, and with a 100% success rate from the boot of Sammut, the home side had a 16 point advantage.
Cahalane pulled one back for seven minutes before half time, when the Australian grounded James Saltonstall’s grubber kick to score. Tyrer added the extras.
Things got a bit heated ten minutes into the second 40 – handbags were swung by Sammut and Worrincy on 51 minutes, and both sides were reduced to 12 men, when Mikalauskas sin binned the pair.
Not to be halted with a jersey missing, London scored another three rapid tries – this time inside 12 minutes – starting when Welsh winger, Williams, raced over the whitewash in the corner, after good prior work from Kear and Dixon. Dixon added the extras in Sammut’s absence.
Dixon was next to notch up another four points, barging over in the right corner on the first tackle. Sammut’s success with the boot continued.
Man of the match, Kear, was last, but certainly not least, to score for London – finding a break in Fax’s line, and racing half the length of the field to crash down under the uprights.
Former Bronco, Worrincy, added a consolation try for the visitors on 75 minutes, but it was too little too late for the West Yorkshire outfit.
London sit on three points in the Qualifiers now – crucially, two points ahead of Featherstone Rovers, and only one adrift of Leigh Centurions. Head coach, Andrew Henderson said the most important outcome of the day was simply securing the two points.
“It wasn’t an 80 minute performance from us today, but there are certainly plenty of positives to take from it. It was a really good start from us. We played with plenty of intent and purpose, but we went away a little bit from our plan in the latter stages of the first 40.
“On the whole, though, our try line defence was outstanding the whole game.
“Today was about winning. It wasn’t about winning pretty, it was about getting the job done. There’s still all to play for. We have to do the same next week. We have to go to Widnes, and we have to win.”
24. Alex Walker, 2. Rhys Williams, 1. Elliot Kear, 19. Api Pewhairangi, 5. Kieran Dixon, 6. Jarrod Sammut, 7. William Barthau, 15. Eddie Battye, 14. Andy Ackers, 10. Mark Ioane, 23. Matt Gee, 13. Jay Pitts, 22. Matt Davis
Interchange: 9. James Cunningham, 12. Matt Garside, 18. Ben Evans, 31, Lewis Bienek
Tries: Barthau (7), Walker (10), Ackers (16), Williams (53), Dixon (63), Kear (65)
Goals: Sammut 5/5, Dixon 1/1
5. James Saltonstall, 23. Robert Worrincy, 3. Stephen Tyrer, 16. Edward Barber, 22. Chester Butler, 6. Scott Murrell, 1. Benjamin Johnston, 20. Elliott Morris, 9. Ben Kaye, 10. Adam Tangata, 11. Shane Grady, 8. Mitchell Cahalane, 12. Simon Grix
Interchange: 13. Jacob Fairbank, 37. Brandon Douglas, 17.Brandon Moore, 29. Michael Sio
Tries: Tyrer (2) Cahalane (23), Worrincy (75)
Goals: Tyrer 1/3