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22 June 2018

Swinton Lions travel to Trailfinders Sports Club to face London Broncos in Round 18 of the Betfred Championship.

Swinton Lions travel to Trailfinders Sports Club to face promotion-chasing London Broncos in Round 18 of the Betfred Championship.

Swinton are in need of a swift return to winning ways after being heavily beaten last weekend against Halifax. Stuart Littler’s men host Dewsbury Rams and Featherstone Rovers following their trip to the capital, with a short trip to fellow strugglers Rochdale sandwiched in-between.

The Broncos are fine form following their record points win against Rochdale Hornets, thrashing the bottom club by 68 points to nil and sit a point behind fourth-placed Halifax with six games left in the regular season.

London head coach Danny Ward has warned his players against complacency against the Lions, telling londonbroncosrl.com “Every game in these last six is a cup final now if we have any chance of making the top four and the Super 8 Qualifiers.”


The Broncos go marching on at the peak of the Championship with a twelve-try victory over the luckless Lions.

The Lions had two blows before kick-off losing winger Mike Butt and second-row man Matt Sarsfield to injury and illness and had to shuffle their team accordingly. However they started brightly when Jack Hansen put up a towering kick towards the line and Elliott Caine rose to collect the high ball and beat Rhys Williams to score in the corner. Chris Hankinson opened his account adding the conversion from the touchline.

London eventually got into their stride and scored two tries in three minutes which were both created by Api Pewhairangi with inside passes and Kieran Dixon and Alex Walker both got touchdowns with Dixon converting both.

Will Lovell scored the third from a nice scrum move near the line but Dixon could not convert this one from the touchline. The Lions then had a few good chances twice forcing Broncos into goal line drop outs and Luke Waterworth darted for the line but was denied after he was held up.

The visitors had a strong last ten minutes to the half and almost scored again but an excellent tackle by Josh Barlow on James Cunningham forced him into a knock on near the line and the chance went. The Championship leaders were back on the board though when Walker stole the ball one-on-one with Caine to score on the right and Dixon again converted. Good man turned bad in the dying seconds of the half when Barlow was sent off for a head-butt on Eddie Battye and Dixon converted the resulting penalty as the half time hooter sounded.

With the extra man advantage, Broncos came out all guns blazing after the break and within three minutes Dixon intercepted a Hankinson pass near his own line to race away and score at the other end, which he was unable to convert. The Broncos were hungry for more and just two minutes later were rewarded when Cunningham took a nice inside pass from Pewhairangi to score under the posts with the extras again being added. This was swiftly followed straight from the restart to three tries in five minutes when James Meadows finished off a nice passing movement on the left but no conversion from this one.

Gavin Bennion went close for the Lions when he was held just short before Broncos got back into their stride when Hull-bound Lewis Bienek took a short pass from Battye to score by the posts with Dixon converting.

Ben Helliwell was next to add to the Lions misery when he scored on the left after a good passing movement but this conversion was missed. The Lions then had another chance and this saw Ben Austin held up over the line and then they forced a goal line drop out from the last tackle and finally Hayden Hansen darted over for a try by the posts on the next set and Hankinson again converted.

Broncos then ran in three more tries in a six minute period with Tom Spencer, Cunningham and Walker all going over and Dixon added two more conversions but the Lions who had scored first in the game had the last say when Hankinson took a lovely reverse pass from Aaron Hall to score by the posts and convert as the hooter sounded.

Ian Rigg reporting from Heywood Road, 25/03/18



Head Coach Stuart Littler spoke to LionsTV’s Josh McAllister following his side’s defeat to Halifax at Heywood Road.

“We’ve got a challenge ahead. We only had one sub at the end but just in the first half you can’t afford to give a quality side like that possession down in our end.

“We only knocked out 12 sets and the second half got worse. We only had 50% completion and only kicked the ball six times. Breaking it down, about 20 sets each should be getting 20 kicks and we’ve only kicked six. It really takes it out of your petrol.

“We were at the wrong end of a penalty count, too. It’s tough and we’ve got to smarten up. I know we’ve had players moving about and in different positions but that’s where we’re at. I need to see more fire.

“I thought we were flat after last week. I don’t know if last week took more out of us than I thought but we’re in a fight and we need to fight for every point and we’ve got to push on now. There’s a few games coming up before the season splits and we’ve got to get some wins out of it.”

“We’ve got to dust ourselves down and have a big week of training.

“We’re only going to get out of it by staying together and working hard. It’s a tough challenge next week against London on their own pitch, which is always a challenge. They beat Rochdale convincingly and the Sheffield result hasn’t gone our way.

“We’ve got to go again and stick together and enjoy each other’s company but be prepared to work hard as we’ve got to graft for every point.”


Joe Brown, Josh Ganson and Craig Mullen join on dual-registration from Wigan Warriors.

George Tyson is left out of the match squad after receiving treatment on the field and going to hospital after last week’s home defeat but Chris Hankinson, who also received a blow to the head during the first half , has been passed fit to play.

Josh Barlow misses out in the second game of a three-match ban.

LIONS SQUAD TO FACE BRONCOS: Ben Austin, Brad Billsborough, Andy Bracek, Joe Brown, Mike Butt, Gabe Fell, Josh Ganson, Aaron Hall, Chris Hankinson, Jack Hansen, Hayden Hansen, Will Hope, Rhodri Lloyd, Levy Nzoungou, Craig Mullen, Paddy Jones, Kyle Shelford, Andy Thornley, Chris Worrall.

BRONCOS SQUAD TO FACE LIONS: Sadiq Adebiyi, Eddie Battye, Michael Channing, James Cunningham, Matty Davies, Matt Davis, Kieran Dixon, Ben Evans, Matt Fleming, Matty Gee, Daniel Hindmarsh, Elliot Kear, Mark Ioane, Api Pewhairangi, Jay Pitts, Jarrod Sammut, Tom Spencer, Alex Walker, Rhys Williams



REFEREE:  S. Mikalauskas  TOUCH JUDGES: N. Lawrenson, M. Rossleigh


VENUE: Trailfinders Sports Club, W13 0DD

TICKETS: Adults £20, Conc £15, Juniors FREE


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