London Broncos v Saints
Saints kept alive their chances of a second place finish in the league and a home semi-final with a resounding 60-6 win in Ealing.
The Broncos have been a hard team to beat at home this season with only Castleford beating them by more so this was a fantastic win for Derek Traynor’s team, writes Graham Henthorne.
The Saints were first out of the blocks quickly building a twelve point lead in as many minutes.
Josh Simm opened the scoring as he chased a Jake Wingfield grubber on the last and was Johnny-on-the-spot to pick up the full back’s knock-on and fall over the line.
The Saints second was Wingfield’s first as the half back scored from 30 out taking Jack Welsby’s short pass after he himself had taken a Kev Brown pass after the winger’s half break through the line.
Simm then knocked on over the line after another Wingfield break and Jack Welsby’s pass to Matty Foster was knocked on with the line begging.
As the first quarter ended the Saints went into a ten minute spell were they completed only two from eight and let the Broncos back into the game. The home side cut the Saints lead scoring on the half hour after lazy marker defence let the stand-off through from half way.
This stung the Saints a bit and they responded well managing to restore the 12 point gap on the stroke of the interval.
A Ryan Horne grubber gained a repeat set and after drives from Foster and Kye Siyani Welsby’s miss pass to John Hutchings saw the big winger step back off his right and drive over.
If the first half performance had been a bit indifferent the second was far from it as the Saints scored seven tries in a dominant display.
The first set after the restart saw Welsby chip over the line on the last. Good kick pressure from Foster forced the winger to bizarrely kick the ball across his own line directly into the path of Sam Royle who in fairness could have crawled under the sticks for the try.
Foster’s kick pressure again gained the Saints a repeat set and three tackles later Wingfield jumped out of dummy half to beat the cover to score his second.
From the restart Wingfield, operating at hooker for Paul Nash, again jumped out and through the line. He took it on to the fullback before passing it inside to his skipper Alex Eckley to go the final 30 to the line. Although in true prop style he insisted afterwards it was from halfway!
The Saints were in complete control now and breaking the line almost at will.
Luke Ward dropped the ball with the line at his mercy after another scintillating Welsby chip and break on the last.
The last 10 minutes belonged completely to the Saints.
Welsby’s long kick on fourth tackle caught out the Broncos but Josh Simm gave a master class in kick chasing as he steamed downfield to be in the right place at the right time to take the bouncing ball from the clutches of the fullback and stroll over.
Wingfield’s massive 20/20 kick set up a scrum on the Broncos 20 metre line and after he and Nash had been stopped short Kye Siyani crowned a fine personal stint by scoring his first try in the red vee stretching out to touch down.
Sam Royle got his second with three minutes left after some slick inter-passing and on the final whistle Josh Simm got his hat-trick try strolling in from five metres out after yet another Welsby chip and pass to Foster had unlocked the Broncos.
Callum Hazzard’s eighth conversion out of eight, in conjunction with a conversion each from Simm and Welsby, gave the Saints a 100% record in total.
As I mentioned previously only the Tigers have put such a drubbing past the Broncos at home this season so this was a fine win for the Saints.
A win in the last match of the season against Newcastle in next week’s curtain raiser to the Hull FC game coupled with a win by the Old Enemy against Leeds will see the Saints in second.
Obviously at that stage there will be much sterner test than this one. But for 65 minutes today the Saints were dominant and playing a fantastic style of rugby.
Siyani and Chris Kellett, back after a long lay-off, did well off the bench in relief of the usually reliable suspects of skipper Eckley, Callum Hazzard and Chris Follin.
The strong running of Matty Foster and Josh Simm cause the Broncos problems all day.
The combination of a rejuvenated Paul Nash, having his best game for a while, and Jake Wingfield both jumping out of dummy half at will kept the Broncos on the back foot all day.
But Saints best work was done with the ball in the hands of Jack Welsby whose skill, after all the above had done their work, provided the Broncos with a conundrum much too difficult for them to solve.
Tries: Oliver Leyland (31).
Goals: Rhys Joel 1 from 1.
Tries: Josh Simm (3, 67 & 80), Jake Wingfield (10 & 52), John Hutchings (37), Sam Royle (42 & 75), Alex Eckley (55), Kye Siyani (72), .
Goals: Callum Hazzard 8 from 8, Jack Welsby 1 from 1, Josh Simm 1 from 1.
Half Time: 6-18
Full Time: 6-60
1. Gideon Boafo; 2. Charlie Gamble, 3. Oliver Leyland, 4. Christopher Ball, 5. Ryan Couch; 6. Oliver Leyland, 7. Ryan Horsman; 8. Christian Gale, 9. Sam Davis, 10. William Blakemore, 11. Jacob Jones, 12. Kai Pearce-Paul, 13. Rhys Joel.
Subs: 14. Robert Oakley, 15. Maximilien Clark, 16. Alfie Edwards, 17. Max Savage.
1. Tom Nisbet; 5. John Hutchings, 2. Luke Ward, 4. Josh Simm, 22. Kev Brown; 6. Jack Welsby, 7. Jake Wingfield; 8. Alex Eckley (C), 9. Paul Nash, 10. Callum Hazzard, 11. Chris Follin, 12. Sam Royle, 13. Joe Sharratt.
Subs: 14. Ryan Horne, 15. Matty Foster, 16. Kye Siyani, 17. Chris Kellett.