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MATCH REPORT | London Broncos 23-22 St Helens

London produced the shock result of the season as Morgan Smith kicked a drop-goal in golden point to win them the game.

MATCH DETAILS

It looked to be a relatively straightforward win for Saints coming in to the game after only being once this season. It looked even more comfortable for them in the early stages as James Roby first scored from dummy half and then a a grubber ricocheted off a London player and into the arms of Luke Thompson to make it 12-0 in under 10 minutes.

It was all plain sailing for Saints until young fullback Jack Welsby showed his inexperience by trying to offload as he was dragged back on a kick return. The ball ended up being intercepted by Ryan Morgan to score unopposed bringing the deficit back to six.

Saints fans are used to seeing a hooker named Cunningham go over to score but this time it was an opposing player as Jame Cunningham showed Matty Lees and Morgan Knowles a dummy before putting his foot down to get away from Welsby.

London stared the second half the better team and had the majority of territory. Saints managed to soak up the pressure and forced a mistake which led to Roby making a break down the middle. Mark Percival scored a few plays later through smart play from Danny Richardson.

The lead didn’t last long as Ryan Morgan made a fool of the normally dependable Theo Fages as he took the Frenchman over with him from around seven metres out.

London thought they had won it through Jay Pitts as he barged Welsby out the way to score from a Jordan Abdull grubber.

As you know you can never write off the Saints and they scored in trademark Harlem Globetrotter style as Regan Grace scored in the corner in the final minute. Danny Richardson converted out wide to take the game to golden point.

Ex-Bronco Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook was adjudged to have knocked the ball on just 20 metres from his own line. Morgan Smith took the headlines as his drop-goal won the game.

 

FOUR POINTERS

Relegation battle hots up

Sunday was huge in the race for survival. While Morgan Smith slotted over a drop goal, Sam Powell also kicked a one pointer for Wigan over relegation rivals Hull KR meaning that they both have ten points. Had the results had been different then it could have been a four point gap between the sides with the Broncos looking destined to return to the Championship.

Nothing wrong with rotation

Justin Holbrook decided to leave quite a few key players out of this game which could have been a factor in their defeat. However despite losing this could be good for Saints in the long run. Last year there was not much rotation and Saints failed in the business end of the season. I’m sure Saints fans would take a defeat to London if it meant winning silverware at the end of the season.

Point to prove

Ryan Morgan showed his parent club what he is capable of with two tries. Saints could have made a mistake in letting the Australian play this weekend as he was terrific in both attack and defence.

Jury still out

There still seems to be a massive split over whether golden point is a good thing. Obviously it brings some excitement and this golden point resulted in a shock which is good for the league but it does seem to be which team can get into position for a drop goal. I personally think it should be golden try.

THE RESULT

London Broncos 23
Tries: Morgan (2), Cunningham, Pitts
Goals: Dixon (3)
Drop Goals: Smith

St Helens 22
Tries: Roby, Thompson, Percival, Grace
Goals: Richardson (3)
Drop Goals: n/a

 

SQUADS

London Broncos: Walker, Dixon, Morgan, Kear, Williams; Abdull, Smith; Battye, Cunningham, Krasniqi, Pitts, Gee, Yates

Interchanges: Butler, Richards, Ioane, Fozard

St Helens: Welsby; Swift, Naiqama, Percival, Grace, Fages, Richardson, Lees, Roby, Thompson, Peyroux, Paulo, Knowles

Interchanges: McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Amor, Ashworth, Costello

 

 



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