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London Broncos v Oldham Roughyeds Preview

London Broncos play host to Oldham Roughyeds at Trailfinders Sports Ground this Sunday and the capital club will be firm favourites. The Broncos beat Swinton Lions in their last match while Oldham, whose last game was on Wednesday, lost to a full-time outfit in the Bradford Bulls.

                                                                 Last Time Out 

London Broncos carried on their rich vein of form with a 42-16 win against Swinton Lions at Heywood Road. Andrew Henderson’s side were 24-4 up at the break as Daniel Harrison, Nick Slyney, Mark Offerdahl and Api Pewhairangi all touched for the capital club. Swinton’s only try of the half came from Shaun Robinson but things got better after the break when Macauley Hallett’s converted try got the Lions up to double figures. But it was London who took charge for the remainder of the half, with three more tries going their way courtesy of Slyney, Ben Hellewell and Pewhairangi. Rob Lever posted a consolation try for the Lions, who won’t be too downbeat after a loss to an in-form team like the Broncos.

Despite having home advantage, Oldham Roughyeds had a tough night on Wednesday as Bradford Bulls hit form and posted a 48-4 scoreline against them. The visitors were 20-0 up at the break after tries from Alex Mellor, Oscar Thomas, Johnny Campbell and Lewis Charnock. Following the restart, things got better for the Bulls when Adam O’Brien and Mitch Clark got in on the act with a try apiece. The final quarter saw Bradford outscore the Roughyeds three tries to one as James Clare bagged a brace before Jay Pitts rounded off the scoring for the West Yorkshire club. Sam Wood registered Oldham’s only try of the match with a consolation on 77 minutes.

                                                                  Key Battle 

London Broncos kept with their usual centres of Alex Foster and Ben Hellewell for the match against Swinton while Wes Naiqama stayed out on the wing for another match. Nobody could blame Henderson for sticking with a plan that has worked to perfection over the past few weeks and months. Both Foster and Hellewell have been at the forefront of London’s attack during the season and the duo will be striving to add to their respective try collections this weekend. Scott Naylor chose Sam Wood and Liam Johnson as the Roughyeds’ centres against Bradford in midweek. Whether or not the pair play at the weekend remains to be seen as fatigue could play a part after such a short turnaround, but the right replacements might not be available for selection. Wood was the only try-scorer for Oldham in the match against Bradford.

                                                                   Prediction 

London’s home form has been outstanding this season and making the Trailfinders Sports Ground a fortress is just one of the reasons why they’re excelling in 2016. The Broncos will head into the Qualifiers with renewed hope that they can mix it with the big boys. Oldham’s main goal, as was the case at the start of the campaign, is to stay up and it’d take a brave man to back against it. With Sheffield Eagles currently in free fall and other sides around the Roughyeds struggling to pick up victories, it’s still all to play for even before the division splits for the Super 8s – London by 26

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