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29 July 2023


 IAN RIGG at Heywood Road, Sunday 16 July 2023

London Broncos warmed up for their 1895 cup semi-final next week with a hard-fought victory over the Lions in stormy conditions. The visitors started strongly and forced a goal line drop out but from the kick Oli Leyland went on the attack but lost the ball and the chance went. Then Will Lovell went close being tackled just short and another chance went but from the next set pressure on the Lions line ended with Corey Norman sending out a looping pass to the left and Iliess Macani collected to finish off well in the left corner but Oli Leyland could not convert from the touchline. The Lions then had a rare attack inside the Broncos half and forced a goal line drop out but could do nothing with the pressure on the line as the defence held out well. Broncos went further ahead on twenty-seven minutes when an overlap on the left and a good piece of finishing saw Macani claim his second right in the corner and this time Leyland saw his kick just creep over the crossbar. Another Lions attack on thirty-two minutes saw some more pressure on the line but they were forced to handover the ball just short on the last tackle. Macani almost claimed a third two minutes from the break when he put in a short kick near the line but Matty Foster chasing with him managed to kick it dead. From the drop out they went close again when a good tackle by the Lions defence stopped Lewis Bienek just short of the posts. The Lions finished the half with Oli Olds and Jordan Case having HIA checks but both returned at the start of the second half.

Whatever Lions coach said to his side at the break seemed to work as there was an instant response when on forty-three minutes Olds sent out a short pass for Kenny Baker to score by the posts and Dan Abram making his hundred and fiftieth career appearance added the simple conversion. The Lions were now turning the screw on the Broncos line and Macani made a handling error on forty-eight minutes when he lost control of a high kick near his own line and from the pressure Gav Bennion went close and was held up and on the next tackle George Roby was also held up. Broncos went onto the attack on sixty-one minutes but the final pass from Henry Raiwalui for his winger sailed into touch. Lewis Hall and Jacob Gannon were sent to the sinbin on sixty-seven minutes for fighting. Broncos were coming strong again in the late stages having been under attack from the Lions for most of the half and Dean Parata made a break on seventy minutes but his final pass to Alex Walker was forward as he raced in by the posts. A Broncos player was placed on report with nine minutes left for an alleged bit on Josh Eaves hand. More Broncos pressure a few minutes later but they lost the ball in a good position before Leyland made the game safe when Broncos got a penalty twenty metres out in front of the posts and he converted. Hall put in a short kick off after the try and Broncos caught the ball before it went ten metres but from the pressure in the dying seconds the Lions could do nothing with the ball in the time left but it was a good effort by the home side.


1 Dan Abram

26 Joey Romeo

22 Andy Badrock

3 Jake Spedding

4 Jayden Hatton

19 Olly Olds

7 Jordan Gibson

13 Louis Brogan

14 Josh Eaves

8 Gav Bennion

11 Rhodri Lloyd

12 Mitch Cox

35 Lewis Hall

Subs (all used)

30 George Roby

10 Kenny Baker

34 Matty Foster

15 Jordan Case


Try: Baker (43)

Goal: Abram 1/1

Sinbin: Hall (67) Fighting


1 Alex Walker

2 Paul Ulberg

17 Henry Raiwalui

3 Jarrad Bassett

5 Iliess Manani

6 Oli Leyland

20 Corey Norman

33 Rob Butler

9 Sam Davis

12 Marcus Stock

11 Will Lovell

16 Ethan Natoli

13 Dean Parata

Subs (all used)

14 Bill Leyland

15 Lewis Bienek

10 Jordan Williams

36 Jacob Gannon


Tries: Macani (8,27)

Goals: Leyland 2/3

Sinbin: Gannon (67) Fighting

On Report: Alleged Bite (71)


Penalty count: 10-8

Half-time: 0-10

Referee: Matt Rossleigh

Attendance: 940


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