London Broncos Head coach Danny Ward has worked wonders this season. The Yorkshire man who is the son of former Leeds star and Man of Steel David Ward, is fast becoming one of the brightest young coaches in the country. Danny had a good playing career of his own, coming through that special Leeds team in the late 90s. After seven years at Leeds Ward went on to represent Castleford and Hull Kingston Rovers before arriving in the capital with Harlequins.
London have been solid and difficult to beat so far in the Qualifiers. An opening round victory at Widnes gave them a perfect start. Brave performances at home to Leeds and away an Toronto ended in defeat before an excellent home victory over Toulouse. Last week The Broncos gave Hull kr a real test last weekend before coming up just short. With two games remaining London know victory of Salford will put them right back in the mix.
Super League away record.
1997 London 48 Salford 12
1998 London 21 Salford 12
1999 London 28 Salford 14
2000 London 24 Salford 33
2000 London 10 Salford 16
2001 London 14 Salford 37
2002 London 26 Salford 19
2004 London 35 Salford 30
2005 London 34 Salford 18
2006 Harlequins 40 Salford 18
2007 Harlequins 18 Salford 18
2007 Harlequins 22 Salford 16
2009 Harlequins 22 Salford 26
2010 Harlequins 22 Salford 26
2011 Harlequins 16 Salford 24
2012 London 40 Salford 28
2013 London 30 Salford 44
2014 London 18 Salford 44
They played for both.
Since Fulham made there debut season in 1980 there have been a lot of players to represent the capitals team (Fulham,London,Harlequins)and Salford, here are a selection;
Steven Bannister, Radney Bowker, Andrew Brocklehurst, Luke Burgess, Mason Caton Brown, David Cruikshank, Luke Dorn, David Driver, Carl Forster, Matt Gardner, Matty Gee, Tony Gourley, George Griffin, Gareth Haggerty, Tim Hartley, David Highton, Andy Johnson, Ben Jones Bishop, Olsi Krasniqi, Tommy Lee, Ian Maccorquodale, Martin Offiah, Rob Parker, Gareth Price, Jon Roper, Darren Shaw, Andy Smith, Anthony Stewart, Trevor Stockley and Josh White.
A match to remember Sunday 1st July 2001 London 14 Salford 37.
Martin Offiah chalked up 500 career tries with a brace against one of his former clubs when Salford beat London at The Valley in 2001.
Only Billy Boston and Brian Bevan had scored more tries in the British game than the former Great Britain flier.
But it was the Broncos who got off to a dream start with two tries inside the opening quarter of an hour.
However, Salford launched a fightback and, on 21 minutes, Mike Wainwright collected his own kick to score. Once Offiah had ran in his two tries, there was no looking back.
Just before the half-hour, he pulled his side level when he pushed his way past Brett Warton and Andy Johnson.
He then reached the 500-try milestone after 35 minutes when he collected Michael Hancock’s pass to roar under the posts. Star stand off Steve Blakeley capitalised on some hesitant Broncos’ defending, picking up his own kick to score an easy try two minutes before half time to double Salford’s lead.
Bobbie Goulding dropped a goal after 51 minutes, before Warton reduced the arrears with a penalty seven minutes later.
Offiah came close to his hat-trick on 61 minutes with a majestic break – only to be caught by some desperate defence.
But the last ditch tackle just delayed the inevitable when Francis Maloney put Kris Tassell over in the corner.
Further salt was rubbed in the Broncos’ wounds when old boy Karle Hammond scored with his first touch 12 minutes from time following another Maloney pass. A day to remember for Salford and Martin Offiah!
Teams that day;
London: Sykes, Warton, Johnson, Roy, Houles, Dymock, Moran, Cram, Air, Mestrov, Millard, Retchless, Parker. Replacements: Dooley, Hughes, Sozi, Iwenofu.
Salford: Broadbent, Pinkney, Maloney, Littler, Offiah, Blakeley, Goulding, Coley, Alker, Harmon, Highton, Wainwright, Tassell. Replacements: Hancock, Baynes, Arnold, Hammond.
500 tries, Martin Offiah was a fantastic winger.
1980 a new decade when the London adventure began.
It was a bold move to establish a professional club outside the game’s heartland, but for several seasons the new club, which played at Fulham Football Club’s ground, Craven Cottage, defied sporting gravity, attracting excellent crowds and achieving a good amount of success on the field. And after the matches, acclaimed actor Colin Welland would hold court over beer and sandwiches with the rugby league correspondents, who would marvel at how a man who could talk with equal passion and knowledge about Hollywood, Huddersfield and Hull Kingston Rovers. Colin was a man who always fought Rugby leagues corner and did some great work in the early days of the 1980s as London began there journey in the sport. Almost 40 years later and after moving grounds and changing names on a number of occasions the passion still burns bright in the capital for the Noble game.
The late Colin Welland, a great ambassador for Rugby League in the north and south.
Victory for Salford on Sunday would guarantee Super League survival. Again The Red Devil’s will be without the suspended Jackson Hastings. London are certainly no push overs and as they’ve shown in the Qualifiers they are capable of scoring plenty of points. With the very exciting Jarrad Sammutt calling the shots there a side blessed with pace in the three quarters with Rhys Williams, Michael Channing and Kieron Dixon. Dixon’s professional try record makes absolutely astonishing reading.
For Salford coach Ian Watson the conundrum could be in the halves, Josh Wood and Robert Lui partnered each other last time out at Leeds. With Jack Littlejohn returning from injury the Australian could come in to the reckoning. This promises to be another fascinating encounter.
On a sour note it’s been a bit of a kick in the teeth for the Salford supporters with a change of game day at very short notice. The way the League structure is it’s already difficult for fans to plan the Qualifiers when the 7 fixtures come out at the end of the regular season. To now have a match changed a few days before when people have booked transport and accommodation doesn’t sit well at all.
Safe journey and enjoy the match everyone.