London Broncos host Leeds Rhinos in a relegation grudge match that could well decide the hosts’ fate if they fail to win.
TEAM FORM GUIDE
London lost 28-58 to Salford and 20-6 against Castleford before their tremendous 4-17 against Catalans Dragons last time out.
Tries from Kieran Dixon and Alex Walker were enough to seal the victory, Brock Lamb’s late drop-goal gave them the cushion of a three-score lead in France.
And the Rhinos also picked up their last win against the European side, scoring six tries on their way to a dominant 48-8 win.
Ash Handley and Richie Myler both scored twice, with Rhyse Martin, Robert Lui and Luke Briscoe also crossing the whitewash to claim a win that effectively separates themselves and London going into Sunday’s clash.
London Broncos make just one change to the side that won across the channel as Rob Butler comes into the squad, with Daniel Hindmarsh dropping out.
Skipper Jay Pitts is an ex-Rhino, whilst Head Coach Danny Ward also used to don the blue and yellow – 135 times, in fact.
London Broncos 19-man squad: Abdull, Armitage, Battye, Butler, Cunningham, Dixon, Fozard, Gee, Ioane, Kear, Krasniqi, Lamb, Lovell, Mason, Morgan, Pitts, Walker, Williams, Yates
Leeds welcome back Jamie Jones-Buchanan from injury, while Brad Singleton returns from suspension.
The big news coming out of Headingley is the inclusion of Mikolaj Oledzki. The forward has not featured for the Rhinos since June.
Leeds Rhinos 19-man squad: Walker, Hurrell, Handley, Myler, Cuthbertson, Merrin, Dwyer, Sutcliffe, Ferres, Oledzki, Jones-Buchanan, Smith, Briscoe, Donaldson, Newman, Seumanufagai, Lunt, Lui, Martin
HEAD TO HEAD
One of the more memorable meetings between these two came earlier this season in March, as London travelled back down south with the two points after winning an enthralling encounter 16-18.
Trailing 0-8 at the half-time hooter, Leeds came out fighting in the second half and turned the game on its head as Richie Myler inspired a comeback which, from the hosts’ point of view, was far too brief as London roared again.
16-8 down, the Broncos were in desperate need of a big moment and got it when Matty Fozard scored with little over ten minutes remaining. Will Lovell then tied the scores before Kieran Dixon won it with the boot.
Kieran Dixon (London Broncos) vs Richie Myler (Leeds Rhinos)
Both mean scored in that meeting, and there is no doubt that fans of both sides will be cheering their man on to replicate the feat. Dixon is much more dangerous through kicking rather than his hands, but that method won them the game at Headingley.
Myler, meanwhile, is one of the few names that the Leeds faithful have been able to rely on in 2019. His determined, bullish nature is a handful for the best names in Super League, so he will grab any opportunity to bomb forward with both hands.
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: 1st September 2019
Venue: Trailfinders Sports Ground
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Referee: Robert Hicks
WHO WILL WIN?
After his controversial performance in the Challenge Cup final last weekend, Robert Hicks takes charge of this one, but he will not be the centre of attention here. That will be the defences of both sides, who are more than capable of mistakes like St. Helens were guilty of at Wembley. It promises to be a rugged, dogfight of a match and there is no guarantee that both sides will end the match with a full team, but the home support will be enough to drag London over the line. Broncos to win: 18-14.