Rugby League: Briers destroys the dreamers

London Broncos 18

Warrington Wolves 30

THE LONDON BRONCOS have got into the worst of pre-Wembley habits, losing games and losing players in a way that makes them even longer odds against for the Challenge Cup final.

Not only did this result mark a fourth successive defeat leading up to the biggest day in their history, but a succession of walking wounded leaving the game prematurely threatened to make Dan Stains' job at Wembley more demanding than it already is. The main causes for concern were Rob Smyth, in his comeback match and earmarked as the Cup final goal kicker, who was forced off by concussion, and Steele Retchless, the man who scored the winning try against Castleford in the semi-final, who limped off late in the match.

"It's battle fatigue more than anything," said the London coach, remaining stubbornly optimistic that everyone, with the possible exception of Shaun Edwards, will recover in time for Saturday.

Whether they can recover their winning rhythm is another matter. Although London deserve credit for fighting back from a deficit three times against a Warrington team that showed flashes of real quality, they never looked to have the ability to win the match. Nor have they obviously caught the imagination of Londoners, less than 2,000 of whom were bolstered by visiting supporters to make up last night's modest crowd.

"We still have a limited number of Wembley tickets on sale," said the announcement at the end. Limited prospects of success, too, you would think.

Warrington took the lead for the first time inside the first two minutes, Lee Briers' quick tap on his own 20-metre line catching the Broncos unaware and Alan Hunte completing a runaway try. London's first reply came when Glen Air, who will play at Wembley if Stains decides Edwards is not fit, put through a low kick that Jason Roach failed to scoop up, Matt Toshack diving in to touch down.

The pattern of the game was established. Hunte, once more looking a top- class centre, set up Lee Penny to put the visitors ahead again; Karle Hammond's cleverly angled kick created the converted try for Tulsen Tollett to bring the scores level again. Slick handling by Danny Farrar and Hunte gave Warrington a four-point lead via Mark Forster's try before half-time, but London bounced back yet again to lead for the only time soon after the interval. Martin Offiah found a gap on the outside and, in the absence of Smyth, Tollett's kick from the touchline put them ahead.

Within three minutes, Toa Kohe-Love and Scott Wilson had sliced them apart and Roach put Warrington back in front. Tries from Roach and Kohe- Love saw to it that London finally lost sight of the target as Warrington won in style.

Stains was a long way from being downcast by the result or the performance. "Our commitment was first-class across the board," he said. "We just got outgunned."

London: Tollett; Smyth, Ryan, Fleming, Offiah; Hammond, Air; Retchless, Beazley, Salter, Millard, Peters, Toshack. Substitutes: Callaway, Spencer, Seibold, Hughes.

Warrington: Penny; Roach, Kohe-Love, Hunte, Forster; Wilson, Briers; Leathem, Farrar, Chambers, Gillies, McCurrie, Wainwright. Substitutes: Duffy, Hilton, Busby, Knott.

Referee: N Oddy (Halifax).

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Online Media Sales Trainee

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...

Recruitment Genius: Public House Manager / Management Couples

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...

Recruitment Genius: Production Planner

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Recruitment Genius: General Factory Operatives

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links