As the match got underway, it quickly became obvious what a tough encounter it was going to be, when a big first hit from the Broncos’ captain Sid Adebyi set the tone.
The Broncos were first to crack, as the Dragons’ Lambert Belmas put on some footwork just five metres from the line to go in under the sticks. Both teams were going set for set, and the tension began to build as the Broncos started to swing the momentum in their favour, despite Josh Raqio being sent off by forcing errors, which saw the Dragons lose their temper on a number of different occasions.
Eventually, the Broncos cracked the Dragons’ defence, and Tuoyo Egodo went in out wide to make it 4-6, only moments after Rob Butler’s try for the Broncos was disallowed. The game continued to build, and Egodo went over for his second of the match, putting London in the lead for the first time.
Then, just moments before half time, Catalan scored two tries in quick succession through Bonillo and Belmas, leaving the field with an 8-16 lead.
The second half got underway, and despite London’s best efforts, Catalan got an early try with Albert going over to put the scores at 8-20.
The Broncos tried desperately to get back into the game, but again let Catalan in – this time with Gambaro scoring out wide. Moments later Catalan’s Pallares sliced through the Bronco’s defence, going over the white wash right under the sticks.
A very neat and clever chip and chase from Callum Whitcombe saw him run 90 meters to hold off two Dragons defenders, and score in the corner, closing the gap ever so slightly to 12-32.
Catalan soon hit back with another two quick tries from Dauliac and Bonillo, putting them even further in the lead, and ending London’s hope once and for all.
With the scores at 12-42 Gideon Boafa went over one final time to regain the Broncos’ confidence somewhat.
The U19s next game is against Castleford Tigers this Sunday 8 May at 2pm, at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.
Callum Whitcombe, Gideon Boafo, Tuoyo Egodo, Josh Raqio, Fred Dodd, James Meadows, Rhys Joel, Callum Bustin, Matty Davies, Rob Butler, Dan Hindmarsh, Jordan Williams, Sadiq Adebiyi
Interchange: Maleek Montgomery, Jordan Richardson, John Sipawa, Lewis Bienek
Tries: Egodo (19, 30), Whitcombe (60), Boafo (75)
Goals: Joel 1/4
Red card: Josh Raqio
Paul Izard, Georgie Gambaro, Vincent Albert, Arthur Romano, Paul Courtois, Thibault Franck, Romain Pallares, Lambert Belmas, Djibrif Dauliac, Saloty Mendy, Franck Maria, Alex Mickalezi, Matthieu Khedimi
Interchange: Romain Franco, Enzo Gauci, Tom Bonilli, Quentin Quemener
Tries: Belmas (7, 37), Bonillo (35, 68), Albert (44), Gambaro (53), Pallares (57), Dauliac (63)
Goals: Pallares 5/8