Luke Dorn registered his 99th, 100th, 101st and 102nd tries in London’s ever changing colours as his four try display helped the Broncos to a thumping 62-18 victory over high flying Warrington at the Stoop.
Dorn combined with fellow Australian veterans Chad Randall and Craig Gower to pull the strings for London, who ran in 38 unanswered second half points as they took apart a weakened Warrington side.
Former Australian Test star Gower also celebrated a personal milestone as his 100% goal kicking display of 9 goals from 9 attempts is his career best. The former Penrith man, who carries the scars of a brutal career in the NRL and a spell in Rugby Union, left the field to a standing ovation from the loyal of bunch of die-hard London fans as he was subbed in the dying moments. He had a hand – or a boot – in almost everything London did and combined with half back partner Dorn to run Warrington ragged.
Tony Smith rested 10 players as he rotated his squad a week ahead of their Challenge Cup final appearance against Leeds. Lee Briers, Ben Westwood, Brett Hodgson, Joel Monaghan and Mickey Higham were amongst the most high profile of stars watching from the stands. Stefan Ratchford was moved to stand off in the absence of Briers while Chris Bridge returned to the team after injury and Rhys Williams featured for the first time since his loan spell at Castleford.
His men looked to still be in the game at half-time after an end-to-end forty minutes saw both teams trade tries as neither side were at the races defensively and turned over too much ball for both the Tony’s liking. However, it was the Rea influence at half-time – as it has been since he arrived in the country last month – that saw London step it up after the break. The Broncos have now registered three victories in five games since their much-loved former coach returned to the club after a dismal run of results saw Rob Powell removed from his position of head coach.
Kieron Dixon got the home side off to a flying start when he touched down in the corner after just a minute. Craig Gower ran at the Warrington blind side defence on the last tackle before sliding in an inch perfect grubber kick for the young winger to pounce upon for his 10th try of the season.
London then capitalised on Chris Riley’s spilled offload by Williams. Melling pounced on the loose ball and charged downfield but couldn’t find the right pass. From the resulting play the ball, Gower took on the Warrington line and found Will Lovell with a neat short ball for the second rower to crash over.
Stefan Ratchford then collected Trent Waterhouse’s offload to touch down for a simple try after Myler’s high bomb wasn’t dealt with by the Broncos defence.
Tony Rea’s men did not panic, though, and kept their composure to work the ball down field. When Simon Grix was punished for stealing the ball from Craig Gower in a two man tackle, the Broncos were gifted an attacking set on the Warrington try line, which they exploited when Luke Dorn stepped off his right foot to bamboozle the Wire defence and touch down under the sticks for his 99th try for the capital club.
Warrington were denied claims for a penalty try immediately afterwards when Chris Hill was tackled off the ball by Chad Randall as he tried to collect McCarthy’s offload. The video referee ruled that a penalty was sufficient, but from the next set of six Richie Myler dropped the shoulder and raced through a gaping hole in the London defence to dive over.
Omari Caro extended the hosts’ lead after the ball after Dorn and Robertson combined to put Will Howell through a gap and he found the young winger in acres of space for a simple touch down.
The Broncos were punished for poor ball retention when Will Lovell spilled the ball under the weight of Ratchford and Evans’ tackle, allowing Monaghan and Bridge to combine to put Rhys Williams away in the corner.
Luke Dorn landed his milestone try after the break when he charged onto Julian Rinaldi’s drop off pass and went through a half-gap left in a Warrington defensive line left broken by David Howell’s break.
Rhys Evans put the ball down over the try line moments later but was denied by the video referee as his shoulder was in touch. He was awarded a penalty, however, as Michael Robertson was ruled to have made contact with the Warrington winger with his knees. From the resulting set of six on the London try line, the Broncos bucked the trend of the game and held firm, denying the Wolves a try and forcing the ball loose in the process.
David Howell epitomised the fighting spirit of his side when he flew out of the line to put on a big shot on Chris Hill that turned the ball over. London took advantage of the unexpected possession when Craig Gower’s banana kick caused havoc for Warrington as Myler and Riley got in each others’ way, allowing the Broncos to shift the ball to Caro for his second try of the game. This passage of play proved to be the gamebreaker and it was all London after that.
Craig Gower extended the hosts’ lead when he slotted home a penalty after he was taken out late by Chris Hill, who was sent to the Sin Bin for his misdemeanour.
French international Julian Rinaldi put the game to bed when he burst onto Gower’s offload to crash over and tick the scoreboard to 44 for the home side.
Dorn’s hat trick try took the Broncos to 50 points when he intercepted Simon Grix’s pass to race home from 60 metres.
Michael Roberston beat Chris Bridge to Dorn’s teasing grubber kick to score before Dorn’s fourth try rubbed further salt in the Wire wounds.
London Broncos: Robertson, Dixon, O’Callaghan, Howell, Caro, Dorn, Gower, Kaufusi, Randall, Wheeldon, Lovell, Melling, Bolger
Replacements: Bryant, Krasniqi, McMeeken, Rinaldi
T: Dixon, Lovell, Dorn 4, Caro 2, Rinaldi, Robertson
G: Gower 8 Melling 2
Warrington Wolves: Riley, Evans, Bridge, Atkins, Williams, Ratchford, Myler, Morley, M Monaghan, Wood, Waterhouse, McCarthy, Grix
Replacements: Cooper, Blythe, Hill, Solomona
T: Ratchford, Myler, Williams
G: Ratchford 3
Referee: Ben Thaler
RLFans Man Of The Match: Luke Dorn (London Broncos)