This isn’t going to be a very long ‘episode’ – my 2nd game of the day and 5th of the weekend took place after the Doncaster RLFC v Featherstone Rovers game at the Keepmoat Stadium.

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I was lucky enough to be able to go inside between the 2 games which was a huge relief as it was beyond cold by this point! I must mention the handful if die hard Broncos fans who make virtually all of their teams’ games at this point, credit is due to them.

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I’d interviewed Joey Grima during the week – to follow on In The Loose – if a team could succeed through attitude and joy Broncos will have a great season.

They’d played Doncaster in their 1st Championship game and had lead by 20 points at half time in what must have felt like a dream introduction to the league.

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The final score of Broncos 26 Doncaster 22 tells a story about the 2nd half.  Although Broncos have had a pre season this year they are still a team getting to know each other and that will bring its issues.

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I imagine both Broncos and Bradford Bulls with have big targets on their backs this season, I can’t see an easy ride for either team.

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I took notes during the 1st half – but am going to sum the game up fairly briefly.  The game was strewn with errors for Broncos – time and again they gave ground through penalties and dropped balls.  I know Joey Grima will have been more than upset by the performance.

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The Eagles took full advantage of their possession scoring some cracking tries not least the try that saw them take their lead to 16 when Quentin Laulu-Togagae touched down after a neat kick through by Dominic Brambani.

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Broncos suffered 3 key injuries in the 1st half – Captain Nick Slyney left the field with what looks like a shoulder injury.

Joe Keyes fell flat onto his face and remained unmoving for quite a spell, it was a great relief to see him walk from the pitch.

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Next up was Richie Mathers – he went into a tackle very awkwardly and from what I could see was knocked unconscious.  He fell in the position he tackled in, across the Eagles player’s legs, to his credit he realised very quickly how serious the injury could have been and didn’t move a muscle.

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It took a good deal of time to ensure that Mathers was moved as carefully as possible.  He was carried off on a stretcher.  Believe it or not he was penalised for lying on – must be the only time an unconscious man has given away a penalty!  Poor officiating.

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The scoreline wasn’t a pretty one for the Broncos – Sheffield Eagles 40 London Broncos 6 – not a good introduction to Championship Rugby in the North!  Clearly a great win for the home team – it will have set them up well for the season ahead.

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No facts and figures again – I’m getting to be shoddy on that – and the toilets/safety were covered in Event 21 – but

  • Best moment of the Event – chatting t 2 avid Eagles fans at half time – such friendly people!
  • Best moment of the game – the try by Quentin Laulu-Togagae was well made and well scored.

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I left the ground fairly promptly with a long journey ahead of me.  I stopped for a very sophisticated McDonalds and for fuel.  A charge down the A1, punctuated with lorries overtaking took me a little over 3 hours.

Tune of the journey?  When I look To The Sky – Train – a song that can at times bring me to tears

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