Friday, 14 July 2017

Sunday's Coming: London Broncos

Bula Bluebag: Junior's back at Spotland.
London coach Andrew Henderson brings the Broncos to Spotland having already secured a top four finish with games to spare.

Last week’s systematic demolition of Sheffield underlines our belief that London are the best side we’ve seen this season - their ruthlessly efficient disposal of Featherstone at Blackpool close to our best performance by any side the season. Relentless, methodical.

Then, as last week, the key cog at the heart of the Broncos machine was Jarrod Sammut - his perpetual motion-style verging on unplayable.

At the Trailfinders last week he ran the Eagles ragged: scoring one try, setting up each of Ben Helliwell’s four tries and kicking eight goals from nine attempts. Three of Helliwell’s tries came from Sammut’s trademark ‘run wide/inside ball’ shift - so a combination to watch on Sunday.

Also putting in an eye-catching two-try performance last week was Irish-Kiwi Api Pewhairangi. Having begun his career Playing Toyota Cup for Newcastle Knights he had stints at Wenty Magpies (NSW Cup) and at Parramatta, where he played four games in the NRL. In 2015 he had a season back in New Zealand playing NSW Cup for the Warriors before joining the Broncos last year, weighing in with 21 tries in 26 games. This season so far: 11 from 14 - a good strike rate.

Last week, Henderson added French international hooker John Boudebza to their squad ahead of the Super 8s Qualifiers. Boudebza had been playing for Lezignan in French Elte 1, having spent the previous two seasons at Hull KR.

On a personal note, we’re quite excited to welcome back to Spotland Fijian utility forward - and ex-Newtown Jets prop - Junior Roqica (that’s ‘Rong-itha’, folks). Junior played in Rochdale twice in 2013 (v Hornets and Ireland) and the last time we saw him play for Newtown he helped them to a rare victory for the Jets at Penrith. We admit, we’re a little bit conflicted to have one of our favourite Jets players running at us this weekend. Seeing him go head-to-head with Jo Taira will be worth the admission money alone.

Hornets go into Sunday’s game buoyed not only by a gritty win over Swinton, but by the news that Lewis Galbraith has had his 8 match ban overturned on appeal after it was, finally, agreed that Oldham and the RFL had little if any evidence to prove their case against him. Our question here is: who compensates Hornets and Trigger for his enforced unavailability last weekend?

Speaking on the club website, Galbraith said: “I’ve had my name dragged through the mud, and plastered across the back page of my local newspaper. Nobody won here tonight but I’m just glad that I can get back to playing rugby league and helping the boys finish the campaign strong.

“I also want to thank Adam, the board, staff and my teammates who have been behind me on this along with the supporters who have backed me while this has been going on.”

Alan Kilshaw has been left fuming over the whole affair and his thoughts can be found HERE

Trigger is now available for selection on Sunday as Hornets took to upset the form book. There are interesting contests all over the park - and a great opportunity for the club to benchmark itself against a side with Super-League ambitions. As always, it promises to be a cracker - see you there.