The Broncos Reserves put up a strong resolve but failed to weather the storm at a wet and windy Kingston Park against a hardy Newcastle Thunder side.
Both sides were guilty in losing possession early on, which became a running theme throughout the match, but it was the home side who took an early lead. A knock on by the Broncos on their own 10 metre line, which saw Dan Coates evade two Broncos defenders to get over the line. With the conversion wide, the home side took a 4-0 lead.
Both sides fought hard for the next 15 minutes, until a breakthrough came for the visitors. A grubber kick down the middle on the last tackle wasn’t dealt with by the Thunder defence and Oli Leyland was first pounce on to the high bouncing kick, putting the ball down spectacularly between the posts. Rob Oakley converted the kick and the Broncos were 6-4 in front.
Although, the lead lasted shorter than a minute, the ball was knocked on by the Broncos defence and Malik Steele scored on the far side from the following set. The conversion went well wide and London were still in touching distance at 8-6.
The home side were close to going over the line shortly after, but quick feet from Adam Green saw him get fingertips on to the ball, which lead to the Thunder attack fumbling possession just short of the Broncos line.
But, it was the Thunder who were over again before the half time siren, Rupert Civil fighting his way through the Broncos defence in front of the posts. With the kick converted, the home side went in at half time 14-6 in front.
The second half started like the first, with both sides fighting for possession and making mistakes due to the stormy conditions. Newcastle Thunder were held on the line twice early in the second half but for dogged and determined defence from the Broncos stopping the hosts from pulling even further in front.
The Broncos didn’t manage to break through the Thunder defence until 10 minutes from time, as Alfie Edwards found himself free in the right corner after a nicely worked play from the Broncos attack. The conversion from Oakley was wide, but the game had now opened up at 14-10.
Pressure from London forced a Goal-Line Drop Out shortly after, but the hosts started to turn the screw again. Dan Coates had thought that he had claimed his second try of the afternoon to seal the win for Newcastle, but the ref had pulled the play back for offside. The last few moments also saw Rian Horsman shown a yellow card for misconduct.
The Broncos pressed hard for the last few moments but couldn’t make a break through before the final whistle. The boys will be going into next week’s fixture at Warrington looking for their first win of the season.
Final score: Newcastle Thunder 14 London Broncos 10.