Canterbury sweep past limp London

London 22 Canterbury 44
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The Independent Online
The London Broncos produced a desperately disappointing show in their final group match in the World Club Championship, dropped passes and missed tackles making it easy for Canterbury at the Stoop last night, but they will, in all likelihood, still qualify for a home quarter-final, writes Dave Hadfield.

Wes Cotton, not only Martin Offiah's replacement, but also his lodger, took on his role as try-scorer after only six minutes of his London debut, a precise cross-kick from Josh White creating the opportunity.

It was a great start for the Broncos, but they soon squandered it. With Shaun Edwards in the sin-bin, for dissent, and after a mystifying award of a scrum to Canterbury, Shane Marteene got away from an equalising try.

After Edwards' return, Mitch Newton went over from Simon Gillies' pass. Newton, not noted for his try-scoring, soon struck again, the London full- back, Mick Mardon, virtually putting the ball into his hands after catching a straightforward kick behind his own try-line.

Gillies went through some weak tackling and Daryl Halligan landed his fourth goal before half-time, but London fortunes suddenly revived after the break, however, Halligan going to the sin-bin for 10 minutes after Canterbury had been penalised for slowing down the play-the-ball. From the subsequent pressure, Peter Gill and Greg Barwick got the ball to Cotton, who went over for his second try.

London kept on turning the screw and White's clever kick allowed Edwards to dive through for the try that brought them right back into contention. Not long after the Bulldogs were restored to full strength, though, Robert Mears put his side back in control.

Hazem El Masri then had a stroll in at the corner from Darren Britt's pass and John Timu found the London defence equally compliant. Kim Howard's try for the Broncos five minutes from time was a mere interlude before Rod Silva underlined Canterbury's superiority on the night.

London Broncos: Mardon; Roskell, Martin, Barwick, Cotton; Edwards, White; Seaby, Beazley, Howard, Hamilton, Bawden, Matterson. Substitutes used: Mestrov, Gill, Salter, Toby.

Canterbury: Silva; El Masri, Marteene, Timu, Halligan; Hughes, Polla- Mounter; Britt, Mears,

Pickering, Gillies, Rels, Reardon. Substitutes used: Newton, Price, Berrigan, Ward.

Referee: J Connolly (Wigan).