After last weekends sensational win over league leaders St Helens, the London Broncos travelled to the South of France to take on a Catalans Dragons side looking to cement themselves into the play-off places as we move into the second half of the season.
Danny Wards went into the game knowing that a win would lift them level on points with Hull KR and the Leeds Rhinos as the race to avoid the drop intensifies over the coming rounds. It was a massive game for both sides, and one that neither could afford to lose.
The Dragons were favourites to deny the Broncos a second consecutive win but this London side had plenty of bottle and is up for any challenge.
It was a brilliant start for the Broncos when Jordan Abdull evaded Tony Gigot and collected a gentle Morgan Smith grubber by the right upright to walk across the line, unopposed, and ground for the opening try on eleven minutes. Kieron Dixon added the conversion for 6-0, the home crowd already quietened.
A Gigot break and kick progressed the Dragons downfield and after a quick play the ball, Tomkins found Samisoni Langi who put the pass out to Fouad Yaha for the winger to power over in the corner. Sam Tomkins couldn’t convert from the touchline, his side trailing by two.
Tomkins failed to ground a Gigot grubber on twenty-three as it was hacked dead in goal by the London defender. London defended the drop out and moved down field with Abdull dummying twice before floating a ball wide to Rhys Williams for the winger to ground ten in from the touchline. Dixon added the conversion brilliantly for 12-4, London were taking the game to the Dragons and showing no fear.
On thirty-one Yaha got his second, again with Langi as the provider, as the London defence failed to hold the Dragon up as he went for the line. Tomkins was again unable to add the conversion, the Dragons now four points adrift.
Both sides maintained the line for the remainder of the half, a half edged by the visitors from London.
It was nip and tuck for the opening sixteen minutes of the second half. Michael Goudemand was held up over the line on fifty-six but on fifty-eight Elliott Kear crashed over the line for the third London try of the game after collecting a Jordan Abdull grubber kick. Dixon slotted his kick between the uprights for a ten point lead to the visitors.
Kieron Dixon put the Broncos clear after taking an Walker pass, being ankle tapped and rolling over the line to ground wide near the touchline. He was unable to convert his own try but at 22-8 the home side now needed three scores to take the lead with just fourteen minutes remaining.
A Dixon penalty goal after sixty-nine, from directly in front of the sticks, extended the lead to 24-8.
Rhys Williams got his second try of the game on seventy-two as the Dragons defence fell apart allowing the winger to walk over by the left corner flag. Dixon added his fifth goal to the Broncos total as they went 30-8 ahead, the crucial two points in the bag.
Yaha got his hat-trick try on seventy-six off a David Mead pass but it counted for little in the outcome of the game. Matty Smith couldn’t add the extras, the Dragons losing the game by 12-30.
This was a massively important win for the Broncos who are now level on league points with the Leeds Rhinos and Hull KR, a vital step in their quest to retain their Super League status for 2020. It was a dissapointment for the Dragons but they retain their fourth spot and live to fight another round as they press for a top five finish at the end of the regular rounds.
Dragons: Gigot, Romano. Mead. Langi, Yaha (3T), Tomkins, Smith, Bousquet, Da Costa, Simon, Jullien, Garcia, Casty. Subs: Goudemand, Maria, Baitieri, Kasiano.
Broncos: Walker, Dixon (T, 5G), Morgan, Kear (T), Williams (2T), Abdull (T), Smith, Battye, Cunningham, Krasniqi, Pitts, Fleming, Yates. Subs: Butler, Richards, Iaone, Fozard.
Referee: Liam Moore.