Rooney's rising talent certain to attract big clubs' attention

London Broncos 10 Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 29
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The Independent Online

Jamie Rooney is fast becoming Rugby League's equivalent of his footballing namesake Wayne as one of the most exciting young Englishmen in the game. Like Wayne, Jamie is starring for an unfashionable club but the Wakefield stand-off's 17-point haul and all-round performance here will have drawn the attention of the big boys, including quarter-final opponents Wigan.

Jamie Rooney is fast becoming Rugby League's equivalent of his footballing namesake Wayne as one of the most exciting young Englishmen in the game. Like Wayne, Jamie is starring for an unfashionable club but the Wakefield stand-off's 17-point haul and all-round performance here will have drawn the attention of the big boys, including quarter-final opponents Wigan.

Trinity were superior throughout, totally dominating the second half against a dismal Broncos side, with Rooney at the centre of almost everything damaging. Justin Ryder opened the scoring after eight minutes but London levelled with a thrilling try, Jon Wells finishing off a 70-yard breakaway against his former club.

Although it took them 34 minutes to complete a set of six, Wakefield were using the ball better in the constant rain. Rooney's penalty gave them a 6-4 half-time lead but it was the 10 minutes after the break which transformed the game.

Rooney exchanged a tight one-two with ex-London centre Sid Domic before diving over after four minutes, and then the former Featherstone player completed a Ben Jeffries break, converting his own try to give Trinity a 16-4 lead.

Mark O'Halloran was sent to the sin-bin for a late tackle on Jeffries and London looked doomed to their fifth straight exit at the hands of Super League opposition since reaching Wembley in 1999.

Moments later Rooney was again pivotal as he waited for the predictable arrival of Domic on his left shoulder before releasing the pass - Domic bounced off Jim Dymock and strolled in to make it 25-4. Rooney added a drop goal and a penalty as a frustrated London lost their discipline.

When they did finally build an attack with 10 minutes remaining, the disappointing Radney Bowker, Dymock and Dennis Moran combined to send in full-back Paul Sykes in the right corner. But it was far too little and too late for the Broncos, Domic ending the game with his second try from Albert Talipeau's off-load.

Tony Rea, the London coach, questioned his players' attitude, while his Wakefield counterpart, Shane McNally, believes Rooney is a potential Great Britain star. "Jamie works hard on his weaknesses and with his attitude and skill the sky's the limit.''

London Broncos: Sykes, Wells, Roy, O'Halloran, McNally, Bowker, Moran, Retchless, Budworth, Trindall, Hart, Mbu, Dymock. Substitutes used: Brocklehurst, Stringer, Stephenson, Sanderson.

Wakefield Trinity: Halpenny, Ryder, Demetriou, Domic, Tadulala, Rooney, Jeffries, Griffin, March, Elima, Solomona, Wrench, Ellis. Substitutes used: Hood, Field, Snitch, Talipeau.

Referee: Ian Smith (Oldham).

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