London Broncos tune up for Super League with 14-14 draw against Castleford Tigers

London Broncos drew 14 -14 with the Castleford Tigers on Sunday in what proved to be great preparation ahead of the upcoming Super League campaign.

The Broncos travelled to West Yorkshire with a squad that included eight new signings, and this was a good chance for Mike Eccles to assess his players against challenging opposition.

This match was Castleford’s second pre-season game and they started the sharper of the sides with it only taking them four minutes to score the game’s first try.

London soon settled into the game and scored from their first meaningful attack. James Meadows played a perfectly weighted kick and Robbie Storey raced through the covering defence to touch the ball down and put four points on the board for the Broncos.  Oli Leyland then added the conversion to tie the scores at 6-6.

Castleford were ahead again 10 minutes later as Innes Senior, a new signing for the Tigers, scored in the left corner. A missed conversion meant that Castleford led 10-6.

Picture: Melanie Allatt Photography

Shortly before half time London went down to 12 men as Oli Leyland was penalised for a high tackle and was sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes.

The Tigers took advantage of this extra space almost immediately as Senior found room on the left again and went through for his second try of the game. The windy conditions made kicking difficult and the conversion was missed again but Castleford took a 14-6 lead into half time.

Eccles chose to make one change at the break with Lee Kershaw coming on for his debut as he replaced Gideon Boafo.

The half-time talk from Eccles clearly had an impact and Oli Leyland scored an excellent try moments after stepping out of the sin bin.  Leyland will be a key player for the Broncos this season if they are to compete with the established Super League teams and he showed all of his quality as he stepped inside a couple of tackles before diving over the line for London’s second try.

Josh Rourke was on kicking duty this time but he also struggled with the wind and his conversion attempt sailed wide.

The Broncos were beginning to dominate the game and the growing cohesion between the players was evident. Iliess Macani had a try disallowed for a forward pass but the pressure soon told as Oli Leyland supplied the ball to Hakim Maloudi who showed great footwork as he evaded the Castleford defence to score his first try for the club. Another missed conversion meant that the scores were level at 14 points each.

The final 10 minutes saw both sides have opportunities to win the match, but the game ended in a draw and London will certainly be happy with their opening pre-season performance.

Picture: Melanie Allatt Photography

Eccles said: “There are absolutely no negatives. We were the better team. We caused them so many problems with the ball and we shocked them a little bit. Our attacking threat was great but we have plenty to work on. We still have five or six players to come in, but this is a really good start.”

London will travel to Huddersfield on Sunday for their next pre-season test before heading to Oldham for their final warm up game.

Super League starts on February 16 with a trip to Club World champions St Helens.  The first home fixture will be on the February 23 against the Catalans Dragons.

Tickets are available now priced at £20 for adults, £15 for over-60’s and students and £5 for U18s.


Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Everyone at the South London Press thanks you for your continued support.

Former Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing:


If you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can make a donation which will allow us to continue to bring stories to you, both in print and online. Or please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.