Broncos prepare to scale new heights

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The Independent Online
Rugby League

London Broncos will scale new heights tomorrow if they beat Warrington at The Stoop, home of Harlequins rugby union club. The capital club are the team of the moment, having won five of their last six league games to rise dramatically up the Stones Centenary Championship table.

Another victory this weekend will lift the Broncos into the leading four of the top flight for the first time in their 15-year history.

Their impressive sequence has included defeats of Leeds, Castleford and Halifax, and last Sunday they set a new club record with the 82-0 rout of Highfield in the second round of the Regal Trophy.

It is all a far cry from just over two months ago when the Broncos propped up the table after losing their first four games of the season. But the arrival of several players from their parent club, Brisbane, has sparked a remarkable turnaround which has made London a team to be respected.

Robbie Moore, the Broncos chief executive, said: "Everything's going very well on the field for us.

"We have a few problems in defence, but most teams have that when they are trying to throw the ball around. We are aware we have to provide entertaining football to attract the fans."

London will move above Halifax - although they will have played two games more - if they beat Warrington. "It will give us even more credibility," Moore said.

Strugglers Oldham meet Castleford, who have had a disastrous fortnight - losing at home to London, crashing out of the Regal Trophy to Carlisle of the Second Division and then beaten 42-20 in midweek by Wigan.

Castleford promote Richard Goddard and Andrew Schick from the bench, with Simon Middleton reverting from centre to the wing in place of the injured Tony Marchant, and the Australian Schick takes the second row place of Stuart Flowers.

The England stand-off Tony Smith will again be at scrum-half but Castleford are still without their Kiwi second rower Brendon Tuuta as they look to bounce back from three successive defeats.

Oldham, second to bottom in the table with just two wins all season, have lost their last three home league and cup meetings with Castleford.

The St Esteve second rower Bernard Cartier has received a four-match ban following his dismissal in last Saturday's Regal Trophy tie for a deliberate head-high tackle against Workington.

The Huddersfield prop, Adrian Toole, shown the red card for a dangerous tackle against Featherstone, was originally suspended for two games but that was reduced to one game on appeal. That means he will be available for the Regal Trophy third-round tie against Wigan on 26 November.

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