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It was the Leeds Rhinos weekend for the two free points as they took on a beleaguered and bedraggled London Broncos side who are still on a single win for the season and looking increasingly unlikely to improve on that tally in what remains of 2024 before their despatch into the Championship.

A win would do nothing for London in terms of league position but would move them level on points with Hull FC but with Leeds getting handicapped by thirty-two points on the coupon it was already a foregone conclusion that they would be getting the points which could lift them into the top half of the table, at least until the outcome of the Hull KR and Catalans game later in the evening.

Leeds won the game in May by 46-8, London were hoping for some kind of improvement.

Within five minutes the Rhinos were stunned as the Broncos opened the scoring after breaking through the Leeds line before being hauled down just short but making the most of a fast play the ball fast passing to the right saw Josh Rourke run the diagonal to dive in unopposed. Oli Leyland added the conversion from the touchline for a 6-0 lead.

It took the Rhinos three minutes to respond, the prolific Ash Handley stooping to ground one handed by the left corner flag after a right to left passing move set him free on the overlap. Rhyse Martin pushed his kick across the face of the sticks, Leeds still behind.

Leeds certainly weren’t having it all their own way.

On nineteen James McDonnell went for the line but was ankle tapped just short. As he went to the ground he passed out to Paul Momirovski for a simple walk-in try. Martin found the target this time. Leeds into a 10-6 lead.

Just before the thirty the Broncos were in for their second Rhys Kennedy spinning out of the tackle on the fifth and managing to force the ball onto the line under the sticks. Leyland hit the target with the easiest possible conversion to give his side a two-point lead.

Returning the kick off London were in again, this time down the left wing, with Iliess Macani grounding one handed by the corner flag. Leyland was unable to add the extra two, London six points ahead.

Leeds were given a perfect chance when Leyland put a clearing kick out on the full to hand over possession on the Broncos forty but on the fourth tackle Samuel Eseh lost the ball in the tackle as he tried to offload, the players and the fans getting restless.

Tempers boiled over on fifty-one but a lecture from referee Griffiths was enough.

Leeds were getting the chances in the opening fifteen minutes of the second half as they dominated position and possession but they were making some awful mistakes and handing the ball back to London.

London went close of fifty-eight with Lewis Bienek determined to have grounded short of the line by the video official.

The hour mark came and went with no additions to either score, neither side with that killer blow to get over their opponents line.

On sixty-eight the Rhinos finally got back on the board with an equalising try, Martin taking a Brodie Croft pass and busting through the line to score under the sticks. The Rhinos second rower added the conversion to his own try to level the scores at 16-16 with nine minutes remaining at the restart.

On seventy-three, Lachlan Miller almost cost Leeds the game as he surrendered the ball as Leeds attacked and London broke down to the Leeds line, but a scrambling defence kept them out.

The full-time hooter heralded golden point.

Three minutes into the first period Andy Ackers threw the ball back to Brodie Croft who sailed a drop goal between the uprights to snatch a Rhinos victory from the jaws of defeat. Leeds with a 17-16 victory in a game that they looked in danger of leaving.

This was back to the inconsistent Leeds who were prevalent in the first half of the season, and they were lucky to win the game after some awful play and terrible errors. London will rue their chances which went to ground and those where the Leeds defence managed to hold them out with last ditch tackling. Leeds level on points with the Dragons in sixth spot, Londonn with yet another loss.

Leeds Rhinos: Miller, Handley (T), Momirovski (T), Newman, Fusitu’a, Croft (DG), Frawley, Oledzki, O’Connor, Goudemand, McDonnell, Martin (T, 2/3 G), Smith. Subs: Lisone, Sangare, Eseh, Ackers. 18th Man: Sinfield. 

London Broncos: Rourke (T), Kershaw, Bassett, Storey, Macani (T), Leyland (2/3 G), Meadows, Kennedy (T), Davis, Bienek, Lovell, Adebiyi, Jones.  Subs: Tison, Williams, Natoli, Stock. 18th Man: Butler.

Half-Time: 10-16.

Full-Time: 16-16. Golden Point: 17-16.

Score Progression: 0-4, 0-6, 4-6, 8-6, 10-6 : HT: 10-10, 10-12, 10-16, 14-16, 16-16 :FT: 17-16 :GP.

Lead Exchanges: London – Leeds – Square – London – Square - Leeds.

Referee: Marcus Griffiths. 

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Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 6th Jul 2024 4:57 PM | Views : 2630 | Replies : 1 | BACK TO STORIES