Impressive London defeated a lacklustre Leeds at Emerald Headingley. Here’s how the match unfolded.
Danny Ward’s London Broncos side came out 18-16 winners on a night they thoroughly deserved the points.
The game started off evenly matched, with London going in 8-0 up at half time thanks to a Jay Pitts try and two kicks from Kieran Dixon. The opening try came from Leeds’ inability to deal with a Jordan Abdull kick with the ball eventually reaching Pitts, who touched down easily.
Leeds prop Adam Cuthbertson was taken off early in the second half and appeared in serious pain.
The second half saw Leeds surge back into the game, with tries from Richie Myler and Trent Merrin, the Australian’s first for the Rhinos despite rumours of him returning to the NRL next season.
Tom Briscoe followed not long after with a try on his 300th career appearance, and Leeds seemed to have turned the game around.
But a late effort from Matty Fozard and a Will Lovell try with less than 3 minutes to go meant London were heading back down south with the two points, and they were fully deserved. Head coach Ward has done something special with this London side, while Leeds appear to be coming further undone with every game that passes.
Leeds in relegation fight
While we are only seven games into the season, it is clear that if Leeds do not make serious improvements, they are in real danger of being relegated this season. While Leeds were in a similar position last season, there was always an expectation that they would come through the middle 8s. That is not an option this year.
Danny Ward’s hard work pays off
What head coach Danny Ward has done at London is nothing short of amazing. Having put together a squad capable of beating a talent-packed Toronto team in the Million Pound game, he has kept the momentum by using nearly the same squad against both Wigan and Leeds and played superbly.
Leeds have forgotten how to attack
The off-season acquisition of Tui Lolohea was supposed to give the Rhinos another attacking weapon but so far this season, they haven’t looked remotely dangerous going forward. David Furner has a lot of work to do this season, especially if the injury to Cuthbertson is as serious as it looked.
Rugby League, not just in the North
One very pleasing sight on Friday was the number of London fans situated in the away end. There has been much talk about expansion and it seems to be working for the Broncos, whose fan base seems solid.
Leeds Rhinos 16
Tries: Myler, Merrin, Briscoe
Goals: Lolohea (2)
Drop Goals: n/a
London Broncos 18
Tries: Pitts, Fozard, Lovell
Goals: Dixon (3)
Drop Goals: n/a
Leeds: Walker, Briscoe, Newman, Hurrell, Handley, Lolohea, Myler, Peteru, Parcell, Oledzki, Merrin, Ferres, Sutcliffe
Interchanges: Cuthbertson, Jones-Buchanan, Donaldson, Holroyd
London: Walker, Dixon, Morgan, Kear, Williams, Abdull, Cunningham, Battye, Pelissier, Butler, Pitts, Yates, Davies
Interchanges: Lovell, Fozard, Richards, Mason