London Broncos looked to kick-off their promotion campaign with a win against lowly Widnes on Thursday night and they started well in Cheshire.
In the 12th Minute Broncos Full-Back Alex Walker came close to breaking the deadlock but was held up by the Vikings.
Championship side London conceded the first penalty of the match, giving Widnes the chance to score from just 20 metres out and punished the Broncos on the left hand edge but after deliberation the TMO disallowed the try for obstruction.
It was the battle of the full-backs in the first half as Olly Ashall-Bott showed good composure under the high ball for the Vikings and was also the free-flowing runner for Widnes in the first quarter of the game.
A loose pass from the Vikings allowed London the break and start a set just 10 metres from the Widnes line but the Super League side held on.
Widnes did manage to show their superiority as they managed to force a goal-line drop from the Broncos. It was from this drop out that the Vikings scored the first points of the
night through Ashall-Bott as Aaron Heremaia jumped quickly from the base of the ruck and popped the ball to the full-back who slid over the line. Inu added the extras. 6-0.
Jarrod Sammut arrived on the field after the try and attempted to take control of the game for London. It came to no avail however as the half-time hooter blew and Widnes took a slender lead into the break.
After the break, London hit straight back as a 40 metre break from Williams and a quick play the ball from Sammut created the space for Mark Ioane to crash over, the conversion attempt hit the post. 6-4 Vikings.
Despite still winning, Widnes heads had started to drop but managed to have a repeat set on the Broncos line, as a disruption at the play the ball gave Widnes a penalty which Inu slotted to give the home side a 4 point lead.
The two teams went two-to-two in the midfield for the next ten minutes as both teams completed sets well.
That was until Kieran Dixon was fooled by a low bouncing kick by Liam Finn giving the Vikings good field position.
Widnes broke down the Broncos defence as Chris Dean finished off a flowing 4 tackle move from the left edge to the right as Joe Mellor sent him over the line to stretch the Vikings lead to 10 after Inu landed the conversion.
The lead didn’t last long however as two quick-fire tries from London levelled the scores at 14-14.
The first try came from a make-shift 5th tackle kick from Broncos half-back Cunningham caused Charly Runciman to knock-on to give possession back to the broncos 10 metres out. Chris Dean went from Hero to Villain as he conceded a penalty to give London a third repeat set giving Pewhairangi the chance to send second-rower Daniel Harrison to score under the posts.
The Broncos tails were up after that try and a high kick confused the Widnes defence gifting London another repeat set. Cunningham and Sammut organised a wonderful backs move which Kieran Dixon finished in the corner with his first try of the night.
Pewhairangi and Williams both picked up cramp for London but the Vikings failed to take advantage of this. With just 10 minutes to go Dixon picked up his second of the night after picking out a looping Liam Finn pass and went 70 metres to dot down under the posts. Sammut added the extras to give London the 14-20 lead.
Super League strugglers Widnes managed to find another gear again however and the Broncos battled to keep them out. However a high kick from Mellor bounced off of Sammuts head into the hands of Krisnan Inu who dotted down just on the line after TMO confirmation. He converted his own try to make it 20-20 with just 5 minutes remaining.
Both sides continued to battle for the remainder of the game and Joe Mellor sliced his
Drop-Goal attempt low and short into Alex Walkers hands.
The Broncos quickly went 60 metres up field to try and punish the Vikings. And Jarrod Sammut did just that as he slotted the best drop-goal of his career to give London the 1-point victory and condemn Widnes to the worst possible start to the qualifiers.
Sky Man of the Match – Eddie Battye – a Front-Row master-class from the London Prop as he lead from the front.
My Man of the Match – Jarrod Sammut – Changed the flow of the game after the first Widnes try and won the match for the Broncos