The Qualifiers Round 5 Preview: London Broncos vs Halifax RLFC

Last Time Out

Catalans got a much needed win away at Halifax in a game that contained nearly as many yellow cards as tries. Greg Bird was the first to get a spell after an illegal tackle on Ben Heaton. Despite being a man down Catalans were the first to cross through Louis Anderson. Catalans looked to be back to near their best when Richie Myler crossed 5 minutes before half time to put the Dragons 12-0 up going into the break after Luke Walsh converted.

The Dragons’ momentum carried through half time and they crossed soon after with Brayden Williame adding another to his tally for the season. The two sides then traded blows for the middle part of the half before Catalans broke through once again and a well worked move put Fouad Yaha over the corner to seal a much needed win for Catalans Dragons who now look sure to be in the Million Pound Game or better. Halifax couldn’t get on the scoreboard and will need to do better next week against a side that’s full of points like London.

On the other hand, Broncos led early against Warrington with tries from Kieran Dixon, Rhys Williams, and Jarrod Sammut, Warrington, however, were able to peg back London’s 14-0 lead in the last twelve minutes of the half through Tom Lineham and George King. With the score standing at 14-10 at the start of the second half it was all to play for and Warrington took a firm hold of the lead in the early stages of the second half. Pita Hiku scored their first before Kevin Brown and Declan Patton scored a quick fire double to thrust Warrington into a definite lead. Ben Westwood chipped in with a soft effort though the middle of the Broncos defence to seemingly put the game out of reach but Jarrod Sammut got one back for the hosts to make the score 20-34. Warrington restored their twenty-point lead in what was a try filled half with Kevin Brown completing his brace. It looked as though it was over but Man of the Match Jarrod Sammut catalyzed a late comeback from the Broncos. Sammut cracked in with his third try of the evening in the 72nd minute.

Not long after Sammut had converted his own effort, Andy Ackers crossed from short range and Sammut converted once again to cut the Warrington lead to 10 with five minutes to play. The Broncos continued to ride the momentum towards the back end of the game and Kieran Dixon raced 70 metres off the back of a Warrington 5th tackle kick to dot down under the posts. As a result, with two minutes to go, Broncos trailed by two points. It looked as though Warrington had sealed the win with Broncos caught on the 5th tackle with Dixon tied in a clinch, but an unnecessary cannonball tackle from a fiery Ryan Atkins looked as though Broncos were to have a final penalty from which to get a return, however referee Liam Moore provided an archetypal refereeing cop out and turned a blind eye. Warrington saw out the final set and survived what was a massive scare for the Cheshire side.


Key Battle

Sammut vs Murrell. With Halifax coming into this off the back of a scorless performance at home, Scott Murrell is going to need to inspire his side to some points if they are to win this one. By contrast, Jarrod Sammut can’t stop scoring and assisting for London and was the main catalyst of the Broncos late comeback last week against Warrington. Sammut, however, is a maverick and doesn’t necessarily turn up every game in the same way he did last week but when he does it’s a thing of beauty. There are points to be had on the 4G pitch in West London so the two playmakers will need to be at their best to capitalize and win the game for their side.



With Halifax having absolutely nothing to play for off the back of a tough game against Catalans, as well as having the long trip down to London I can only see this going the way of the home side. The Broncos will want to score as many as possible on a fast track down at Ealing to have any chance of getting into the Million Pound Game and should win well here. The only thing that’ll decide how close it is, is the Broncos defence. London Broncos by 14.

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