Rugby League: Leeds come back to remain perfect

London Broncos 13 Leeds 14
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The Independent Online
London Broncos 13 Leeds 14

LEEDS preserved one of only two perfect records in Super League last night, two tries in three minutes deep in the second half rescuing them after the Broncos had seemed to have their measure.

London led 13-4 after 63 minutes, but defensive lapses undid all the good work that had gone before. First Iestyn Harris, significantly moved to scrum-half in a reorganisation when both sides had a man sent off, set up a try for Brad Godden.

Harris missed the conversion but Leeds were soon back for more, Richie Blackmore, breaking through the first line of defence and then holding off Darren Higgins' tackle to go in for a try which Harris improved to put Leeds ahead for the first time.

They were behind after two two minutes. Ferocious driving from the London forwards created a position from which Glen Air flighted a well-judged kick for Chris Ryan to jump above Paul Sterling, Terry Matterson adding the goal.

A goal apiece was the only other scoring of the half, although both sides could have had a try. London were denied a penalty try when Air was pulled back and Leeds' Ryan Sheridan lost the ball over the line.

The visitors did draw with Harris' second penalty, but London scored their second try five minutes into the second half as Martin Offiah wrestled his way over after Robbie Beazley had made the initial break.

Rival back-row forwards Peter Gill and Marc Glanville were dismissed after hostilities broke out at a play-the-ball, but Matterson somehow dug out a kick to put over a drop goal just after the midway stage in the half.

Even after Leeds' double strike, the Broncos had a chance to win it. A double penalty awarded against Leeds gave Matterson a shot at goal from 45 yards out. He seemed to strike it sweetly enough, but the ball drifted wide and Leeds were back on top, pending Wigan's game at Sheffield this afternoon.

London Broncos: Mardon; Fatnowna, Toshack, Ryan, Offiah; Tollett, Air; Carroll, Matterson, Young, Higgins, Retchless, Gill. Substitutes used: Beazley, Dunford, Salter.

Leeds: Harris; Sterling, Blackmore, Godden, Cummins; Kemp, Sheridan; Masella, Lawford, Fleary, Morley, Farrell, Glanville. Substitutes used:Hay, Powell, St Hilaire, Mathiou.

Referee: J Connolly (Wigan).

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