Jay Pitts’ try inside the final two minutes ensured London Broncos took the Super League relegation battle to the last week of the regular season with a 20-14 win over Hull Kingston Rovers. Here’s our verdict…
London capitalised on Ryan Shaw’s error ten metres from his own line, as Matt Gee crossed from close range in the fourth minute.
The Robins were finding it increasingly difficult to get out of their own half and London were in again on the tenth minute. Brock Lamb sailed through the KR defence and threw a number of dummies to double their lead.
Starved of possession in Broncos territory, Rovers made use of back-to-back penalties when Will Dagger crossed on the quarter-mark.
Dixon added another two from the boot prior to the break, as Rovers failed to capitalise on good pressure beforehand, for 14-6.
Rovers needed to score first in the second half to keep the tie alive and Chris Atkin touched down six minutes after the interval, Shaw nailing the touchline conversion, for 14-12 in favour of London.
Danny McGuire touched down in the 51st minute as Rovers took the lead for the first time, with a clever runaround pass. Shaw missed the extras for 16-14 to KR.
Dixon missed the opportunity to level the scores from a penalty bang in front of the sticks as a nail-biting finale ensued. But Jay Pitts’ try two minutes before full-time secured the win for London.
Broncos March On
You have to give huge credit to Danny Ward’s side for playing with the heart and determination that separated them from Rovers.
The team attacked together and they defended together, showing why they can beat any team on their day.
Another Opportunity Missed
As for the East Hull side, Hull Kingston Rovers will now need to win their final game of the season if they are to stay in Super League.
Other results will need to work for them if circumstances see them lose their final game, but it will be most important that they play for the two-points.
But going back on this recent match, Hull KR have hosted all three of their relegation rivals and have failed to gain two-points against any of them, which could cost them their place in Super League.
Two Star Players
Although a difficult night for the hosts, both Chris Atkin and Mitch Garbutt both stood out for playing positions that they haven’t been used to playing in.
Atkin came on for Jimmy Keinhorst, who was stretchered off, and had to fill in at full-back. Whereas Garbutt replaced Dean Hadley at loose-forward due to the former coming off for a concussion.
Head coach Tony Smith praised them for their efforts and for the rest of the team in his post-match press conference.
The Final Day
The relegation battle will all come down to the wire next weekend where Huddersfield, Wakefield, Hull KR and London will battle for two points to secure their status in Super League 2020.
Huddersfield will host Catalan Dragons, Wakefield and London will face each other at Belle Vue and Hull KR will travel to Salford.
Only one team can go down to the Championship, who will it be? Stay tuned to find out…
Hull KR + 16
Tries: Dagger (21), Atkin (46), McGuire (51)
Goals: Shaw (2)
Drop Goals: n/a
London + 20
Tries: Gee (4), Lamb (9), Pitts (78)
Goals: Dixon (4)
Drop Goals: n/a
Hull KR: Craig Hall, Will Dagger, Ben Crooks, Jimmy Keinhorst, Ryan Shaw, Danny McGuire, Josh Drinkwater, Robbie Mulhern, Matt Parcell, Daniel Murray, Joel Tomkins, Weller Hauraki, Dean Hadley.
Interchanges: Mitch Garbutt, Kyle Trout, Mose Masoe, Chris Atkin.
London: Alex Walker, Kieran Dixon, Ryan Morgan, Elliott Kear, Rhys Williams, Jordan Abdull, Brock Lamb, Eddie Battye, James Cunningham, Rob Butler, Jay Pitts, Matt Gee, Luke Yates.
Interchanges: Maty Fozard, Dan Hindmarsh-Takyi, Nathan Mason, Guy Armitage.