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London Broncos v Bradford Bulls Preview

After a great win over Sheffield Eagles in the last round of games, London Broncos face yet another full-time side but this time in the shape of Bradford Bulls. Both teams hold places in the top four as things stand so a win would come as an extra boost for either camp.

Last Time Out

London walloped Sheffield 56-24 at SHU Sports Park last Friday. The Broncos went 16-0 up inside as many minutes after tries from William Barthau, Wes Naiqama and Rhys Williams. Sheffield replied soon after through Ben Blackmore but the Eagles were pegged back minutes later by a try from former player Matt Garside, who has been exceptional in his stint in the capital. Consecutive tries from the hosts came from Menzie Yere and Michael Knowles but the end of the half belonged to London as they extended their advantage with Barthau’s second try of proceedings. Three tries in the opening quarter of the second period sealed the win for the visitors. Barthau, Williams and Andy Ackers all touched down for Andrew Henderson’s men and things got even better soon after as the full-timers registered two more tries before the end. Garside and Alex Foster both crossed the chalk and the scoring rout was complete for the Broncos but not before Sheffield added two consolation tries thanks to Cory Aston and Mark Mexico.

Bradford sent departing coach James Lowes out on a win as the Bulls were 52-16 victors over Workington at the Provident Stadium. The match was rather tight heading into the second half, Bradford held a 22-10 lead after tries from Mitch Clark, Danny Williams, Adrian Purtell and James Clare. Chris Murphy scored both of Workington’s four pointers in the first half. Three tries in the opening 12 minutes of the second half for the hosts put the game beyond doubt. Kris Welham, Williams and Omari Caro all touched down as Town were left helpless. Jack Murphy responded for the visitors but nothing more came of it and Bradford finished the match well with three more scores going their way. Oscar Thomas, Caro and Dale Ferguson were the final try-scorers for Bradford.

Key Battle

The presence of William Barthau has been well and truly felt this year for London Broncos. The Frenchman missed most of last season due to injury but he has performed very well for the capital side this year and his try-scoring record is also eye-catching for a half-back. Alongside him for the match against Sheffield was utility Jack Bussey, who is a very skilful forward on his day. The former Featherstone man is a proven Championship performer and Andrew Henderson was right to take a punt on him in the off-season. Bradford’s half-backs for the game against Workington were Danny Addy and Adrian Purtell – Lee Gaskell didn’t feature in the tie. As temporary coach Matt Diskin adapts to life at the helm, he will be hoping his creative pivots make the job a whole lot easier in the capital this weekend.

Prediction

London are still unbeaten at home in the league this year and this Sunday’s match will be their biggest challenge yet. If the Broncos win this tie, they will have a load of self-belief for the season ahead and everyone at the club will start to believe in their potential Qualifiers status that little bit more. Bradford are in a bit of a sticky situation at the moment with the departure of coach Lowes still sinking in. Matt Diskin will be Batley coach starting from next year and this will be a great experience for the former Super League hooker. Will he get off to a perfect start? – London by 12

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