Key talking points from London Broncos v Leeds Rhinos
Leeds Rhinos made it two wins from two in the Betfred Qualifiers with a 48-32 success at London Broncos on Sunday. Here are five talking points from the match.
1: For an hour Rhinos played well, though their defence never looked comfortable. Eight tries and 48 points in 60 minutes is a good effort and confidence seemed to be returning, but Leeds can’t cope when the momentum swings against them. Once London got on the front foot Rhinos’ defence crumbled, conceding four tries and 22 points in the final quarter. Rhinos had enough credit in the bank, but they clearly still have a huge amount of work to do.
2: The game was played a day short of two years since Rhinos’ previous visit to Ealing Trailfinders and was almost a duplicate of that afternoon. In the 2016 Qualifiers Rhinos won 42-28 after leading 36-12 on 53 minutes, Tom Briscoe – rather than Joel Moon – scoring a hat-trick on that occasion. Leeds went on to win six of their seven fixtures in the middle-eights.
3: It wasn’t a memorable game from Rhinos’ point of view, but there were a couple of unusual incidents. Joel Moon’s hat-trick in the opening 16 minutes was one of the fastest by a Leeds player since Super League began. In the second half Ashton Golding was tackled high as he touched down and referee Chris Kendall awarded a try, conversion and penalty – Rhinos’ first eight-point try of the summer era. The previous one was against Castleford in 1994.
4: Kevin Sinfield’s return, as director of rugby, has had a positive effect on Liam Sutcliffe’s goal kicking. He booted eight goals from nine attempts, including a couple from the touchline. He has yet to find a settled position, but that aspect of his game shows great promise.
5: Former Rhinos prop Danny Ward has done an excellent job as London coach and the last 20 minutes showed what they are capable of. Broncos aren’t ready for Super League yet, but they are making good progress.