London Broncos upset the odds to beat Catalans Dragons away from home for the second time this season as they ran out 4-17 winners to boost their survival hopes.
Having won 12-30 in France two months ago, London travelled in confident mood and it showed as Kieran Dixon and Alex Walker both crossed to the visitors a comfortable 0-8 half-time lead.
The hosts massively disappointed the home crowd, especially considering their numerical advantage when Olsi Krasniqi was sin-binned for a dangerous tackle on Greg Bird in the 16th minute.
Brayden Wiliame’s score early in the second half proved to be Catalans’ only points as Steve McNamara’s men were still feeling the effects of their last home game, the feisty win over Warrington.
The French side were without both Sam Tomkins and Michael McIlorum, who were both sent off at the end of the victory over last season’s Challenge Cup finalists.
But we must not take anything away from a London side who are fighting for their lives at the bottom of the Super League table. Their performance was worthy of a team placed much higher in the division as few, if any, errors were made and Brock Lamb’s late drop-goal put the icy on a very tasty cake.
Battered 48-8 by Leeds at Headingley last week, the Dragons still had the chance to move sixth with a win but, with only three games left, the French outfit find themselves four points behind Warrington (2nd), Wigan (3rd) and fourth-placed Hull, who all stand on 30 points.
Broncos’ hopes of survival remain in their own hands as their final three Super League games are all against relegation rivals.
First up is the visit of Leeds who sit just two points ahead the bottom four, before away games at Hull KR and Wakefield, who occupy two of the three places above them in the fight against relegation.
London know how to beat Catalans
That is now wins in as many months over the channel for the Broncos at a stadium which not many teams emerge from with two points. Keep up this impressive away from and they could defy the odds.
Catalans underestimated their opponents
Given the result of the previous meeting, this will sound odd, much the Dragons looked as though they thought they had the game won before it had even kicked off. There is no room for such an attitude in Super League and that showed today.
Dixon is key for Broncos
Time after time, Kieran Dixon produces when he’s needed. The winger has been arguably their player of the season and will need to show why in the remaining three games
It’s crunch time
After Hull Kingston Rovers’ 10-38 loss to relegation rivals Wakefield, they now lie level on points with London – and another scoreless showing from Huddersfield Giants, who lost 0-24 to Castleford, means that the bottom five teams are separated by just two points. What an end to the season we have in store!
Catalans Dragons 4
Drop Goals: n/a
London Broncos 17
Tries: Dixon, Walker
Goals: Dixon (4)
Drop Goals: Lamb
Catalans Dragons: Gigot; Mead, Romano, Wiliame, Tierney; Bird, Langi; Bousquet, Da Costa, Kasiano, Whitley, Garcia, Casty.
Interchanges: Edwards, Simon, Albert, Maria.
London Broncos: Walker; Dixon, Morgan, Kear, Williams; Abdull, Lamb; Battye, Cunningham, Krasniqi, Pitts, Lovell, Yates.
Interchanges: Fozard, Gee, Hindmarsh, Armitage.
Referee: Liam Moore.