Danny Ward’s London Broncos continue to defy the odds in 2019. With just six matches remaining Ward and his team are still confident of Super League survival and have proved this season on their day they can upset anyone.
Salford have beaten the Broncos twice this season in two very clinical performances. 24-0 at The AJ Bell Stadium in February and 10-30 in the capital at the end of April.
With the two teams both having a break from action for The Challenge cup semi final weekend coaches Danny Ward and Ian Watson will be hoping their players will be refreshed for the run in.
Last time out The Broncos beat run away leaders St. Helens for the second time this season. It was a comprehensive win too, don’t be fooled by the excuse of players being rested. Justin Holbrook still had a number of vastly experienced players in the side and London got the job done.
The Broncos shocked St. Helens again last time out.
Salford have won their last two matches against sides above them in the table.
An outstanding display at Warrington was backed up by a very bruising encounter at home to Catalans. To put forty points over The Dragons keeps Salford’s excellent points difference intact. The Red Devil’s have the 5th best defence and the third best attack in The Super League.
London are still bottom of the table but are level on points with both Hull Kingston Rovers and Leeds with 16 points. Wakefield and Huddersfield just two points clear on 18. The picture could change yet again this weekend and looking at all the teams remaining fixtures the relegation battle could very well go down to the last round of the season.
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
2018 London 11 Salford 8 (qualifiers)
2019 London 10 Salford 30
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.
Tony Gourley signed for Salford in 1979 before playing five seasons with Fulham.
A match to remember Saturday 29th June 2013.
London Broncos 30 Salford 44.
On the whole 2013 was a very disappointing season for Salford. Finishing bottom of the Super League table, the supporters were subjected to some dismal performances. Coach Phil Vievers lost his job before the campaign really got going.
This match was probably one of the highlights of the season. Two sides that looked to have forgotten the art of defence, hence the basketball scoreline. Nevertheless the supporters got treated to some nice tries and to score forty four points away from home takes some doing.
Making his debut for The Broncos in this fixture was marquee signing Jamie Soward. The Australian half back had joined on a short term deal before linking up with his new club Penrith Panthers.
Salford’s stand out performer was Lee Gaskell. The on loan star bagged a hat trick of tries as London failed to cope with the pace and attacking options of their visitors.
Hat trick hero, Lee Gaskell back on a red hot day in 2013.
Salford raced in to a 0-28 lead after in the first quarter of the match.
Soward’s introduction galvanised the home side though and he chipped in with fourteen points of his own including a debut try.
Along with Gaskell’s hat trick speedster Jodie Broughton scored a brace and Salford’s other tries came from Ashley Gibson, Wayne Godwin and Theo Fages.
Marc Sneyd kicked six goals
Trailing 6-34 at half time the Broncos were left with a mountain to climb and despite a fight back and Soward’s heroics it was Salford’s day. The City Reds climbed off the foot of the table with London replacing them.
The teams that day;
London: Robertson, Colbon, Little, Sarginson, Dixon, Dorn, Woodburn-Hall, Wheeldon, Fisher, Krasniqi, Melling, McMeeken, Wicks.
Replacements: Bishay, Dollapi, Fairbank, Soward.
Salford: Gaskell, D. Williams, Gibson, McGoldrick, Broughton, Sneyd, Fages, McPherson, Godwin, Griffin, Ashurst, Dixon, Wild.
Replacements: Owen, Emmitt, A. Walne, James.
Referee: Ben Thaler (Wakefield)
It maybe an old cliche but one game at a time is definitely the mantra that both coaches will be using in their final six matches of the regular season. With Salford still having a very good points difference victory in this match could see them enter the top five, Castleford, Catalans and Wigan’s results will have a significant bearing on this though.
Three wins on the trot in June over St. Helens and Hull Kr at home and a magnificent display in Perpignan beating Catalans 12-30 has given London a huge life line. Another victory over St. Helens last time out and a comprehensive one at that 32-12 has dragged almost half of the Super League into the relegation dog fight. It promises to be a pulsating end to the 2019 campaign with lots more twists and turns to come. The Broncos still have to play Leeds at home and Hull Kr away in their remaining fixtures.
After their heroics so far this season London Broncos still have the chance to write a final fairytale in the coming weeks.
Ian Watson’s Salford side continue to punch above their weight and a top five finish would surely be one of the achievements of the season for a small squad on a limited budget. Watson is a modest character but doesn’t suffer fools and his man management skills and tactical knowledge have shone through even more this season. He has the ability to get the best out of players that other teams for one reason or another couldn’t.
With a number of players moving on at the end of the season you get the feeling their is unfinished business for these lads in the Salford squad and they seem determined to go out with a bang.
Tui Lolohea and Jackson Hastings seem to be gelling nicely and with the team spending some time In Ireland during the Challenge Cup break team spirit is as good as ever.
This promises to be another exciting encounter. London have some very dangerous players. Jordan Abdull is a very accomplished talent with an excellent kicking game. Kieron Dixon is one of the quickest players in the competition and in Luke Yates The Broncos have a real work horse.
Salford will be hoping to have captain Lee Mossop back from injury and winger Ken Sio could be in contention.
Safe journey to the capital everyone and enjoy the game.