London Broncos welcomed Oldham RLFC to Ealing with a view to keeping their unbeaten home run going. Oldham had played their rearranged fixture against the Bradford Bulls midweek, losing heavily. That meant that by the end of the match they’d have played 3 games in 8 days. That’s a big ask in a game which is so incredibly physical, and would make this game an uphill battle for the Roughyeds.
That task wasn’t made easier when Hooker Lewis Foster received a head injury that saw him counted out of the game with only a few minutes on the clock. Playing 80 minutes with all 17 men would have been a very hard task, losing a man this early was something of a disaster.
This was my third visit to the Ealing Trailfinders ground, I would comment that seating arrangements are a bit unclear, I’ve been lucky enough to sit in a season ticket holders seat (I’m just a member this year) each time I’ve been as Lucie’s taken the standing option. But, had she not been kind enough to let me take her seat I’d have been confused about where I could go.
A minute’s applause was observed by all to celebrate the life of young Wakefield player Ronan Costello who tragically lost his life after an sustaining a serious injury while playing.
I was hoping for another great display from the Broncos and I wasn’t disappointed, Oldham’s task wasn’t made easier when Hooker Lewis Foster received a head injury that saw him counted out of the game with only a few minutes on the clock however.
Broncos struck early after a break by Api Pewhairangi, a short pass to Daniel Harrison who’d been on his shoulder saw Harrison heading over the line. Pewhairangi stands out in a team, who to a man are playing well, he certainly wouldn’t look out of place in one of the top Superleague sides.
London Broncos are playing an exciting brand of rugby league, gone are the days of one man rugby. That style saw them take a 34 nil lead, with the list of try scorers being Ben Hellewell, Rhys Williams, Elliot Kear, Rhys Williams, Rhys Williams – a hat trick for the Broncos winger who became not only Broncos top try scorer for the season, but also the top try scorer in the league. Pewhairangi had converted all but one of the try’s.
The teams emerged after half time and huge credit must go to the Roughyed’s who were clearly weary, they were the first to get points on the board through a Jamal Chisholm try, Liam Palfrey converted the try with a great kick.
Broncos were next over the line with Izzy Eliab offloading to Iliess Macani who scored his first of 2 try’s for the day. They were sandwiched between a second try for Hellewell. Macon’s second gave him a chance to show his speed as he raced down the pitch, covering a good half to put the ball down in the corner. With the added conversions the score had moved onto London Broncos 50 Oldham 6.
The try scoring finished as it had started for Broncos with a Pewhairangi off load, this time to Mark Offerdahl, another great conversion saw Broncos move to 56.
Oldham were to have the last word after Jack Holmes broke away to score a great try, giving the die hard Roughyed fans something to shout about. The conversion was missed leaving the end result London Broncos 56 Oldham 10.
Another great home win for the Broncos, they look forward to the visit of Leigh Centurions , the game will be the decider for top spot after the standard rounds. Broncos were unlucky not to come away with a win from the away fixture.
It was good to see ex player Jamie Bloem refereeing, he did a good job overall letting the game flow. It wasn’t so good to hear the abuse shouted by a Broncos fan as he was leaving the field. I spoke to some of the fans sitting in front of me who felt that the atmosphere needs to be welcoming and suitable as the club are looking to encourage new fans in a new area. I agree completely, it’s great to feel comfortable with fellow fans, but people have to be mindful of how their behaviour might be viewed.
Overall this was a very enjoyable afternoon, this Broncos team are playing some of the best rugby I’ve seen in the 20 years of supporting them. Long may it last.