- 21 Jul
- From the section Rugby League
|Betfred Super League|
|London Broncos (14) 32|
|Tries: Fleming 2, Yates, Walker, Gee Goals: Dixon 6|
|St Helens (6) 12|
|Tries: Smith, Richardson Goals: Richardson 2|
Bottom side London Broncos stunned runaway leaders St Helens for the second time this season to boost their hopes of Super League survival.
Matty Fleming and Luke Yates ran in tries either side of Aaron Smith’s effort for a much-changed Saints to put the Broncos 14-6 up at the break.
Danny Richardson’s try got Saints to within two point before Alex Walker went over to extend London’s lead.
A Matty Gee try and second from Fleming completed the shock victory.
While the triumph is not enough to lift Danny Ward’s side off bottom, they do go equal on points with Hull KR and Leeds Rhinos with just six games remaining.
Saints, who remain 10 points clear at the top of the table, have lost just three times this season – with two of those coming at the Trailfinders Sports Ground in the past six games.
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Broncos lead from start to finish
Just as he did in June, Justin Holbrook sent a much changed side to the capital.
With a Challenge Cup semi-final against Halifax just six days away and having beaten champions Wigan, closest rivals Warrington and third-placed Hull FC in a demanding recent schedule, the Saints boss decided to rest nine players.
Tommy Makinson, Lachlan Coote, James Roby, Jonny Lomax, Kevin Naiqama, Mark Percival, Alex Walmsley, Luke Thompson and Theo Fages were given the week off, while Josh Simm, Callum Hazzard and Josh Eaves made their debuts.
Just four of the starting 13 that beat Wigan a week earlier – Regan Grace, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Morgan Knowles and James Bentley – retained their place to start against the Broncos.
It took a gripping fightback from London to overcome Saints last month, but this time they led from start to finish.
A high cross-field kick from Jordan Abdull was collected by Fleming to scamper over for the opening score, with Saints responding through Smith, before former Newcastle Knights forward Yates restored London’s lead with his first try in the English game.
Dixon then slotted his second conversion and added a penalty to make it an eight-point lead against a Saints side that finished the half a man down following McCarthy-Scarsbrook’s yellow card for a shove off the ball.
A minute after the forward returned from the sin-bin Saints hit back with their second try through Richardson, who reduced the arrears to two points with the ensuing conversion.
London, however, did not buckle again and went on to register the upset of the season in style.
London Broncos head coach Danny Ward told BBC Radio London:
“The gameplan was pretty good today, we played nice and direct, kept hold of the ball and the pressure told in the end.
“There’s been a lot of negativity around Saints’ selection this week but the boys haven’t focused on that, they’ve focused on themselves and their performance.
“They had some good players out there – there was a lot of disrespect towards ourselves and St Helens this week from outside the two camps.”
St Helens coach Justin Holbrook:
“I thought we were really unlucky in the first half, to be behind what we were and to have a man in the sin-bin and all that stuff, nothing went our way and I thought we really tried hard in the second half.
“We had chances to get back into it, then we made our own errors and didn’t defend on the last play where we didn’t tackle.
“It’s a big jump from the academy to the first team, but they will learn a lot from that. They’ve deserved their opportunity, we’ve got some really great young players at our club.”
London Broncos: Walker; Dixon, Fleming, Kear, Williams; Abdull, Fozard; Krasniqi, Cunningham, Butler, Pitts, Adebiyi, Yates.
Replacements: Ioane, Richards, Battye, Gee.
St Helens: Welsby; Swift, Costello, Simm, Grace; Paulo, Richardson; McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Smith, Lees, Batchelor, Bentley, Knowles.
Replacements: Amor, Ashworth, Eaves, Hazzard.
Referee: Tom Grant (RFL)
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