Rugby League: Broncos stun Canberra

London Broncos 38 Canberra 18
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The Independent Online
Shaun Edwards inspired London to an astonishing recovery from a potentially ruinous start as they swept aside one of the world's most talented teams at The Stoop last night. The Broncos were 14 points down and apparently out when Edwards, who has been nursing a hamstring injury, came on as a substitute midway through the first half.

When he went off after 56 minutes, London were on their way to an unforgettable victory. It was not all due to Edwards - Terry Matterson and Peter Gill were just as influential - but this was a match that revolved around his comings and goings.

London stacked the odds against themselves from the start, having Scott Roskell sin-binned after two minutes. Canberra took advantage, starting when Laurie Daley put David Boyle over in the corner Roskell would have been covering.

Roskell was still waiting to come back on when the Raiders opened up London's right flank again, Ben Kennedy's pass this time supplying Boyle. Daley's flick found Jason Burnham for Canberra's third try.

Edwards came off the bench and almost immediately Matterson burrowed over from dummy-half. Four minutes later, Edwards went close to scoring, got the ball back from a fortunate deflection and Matterson found a gap on the outside for his second try.

Greg Barwick's two conversions and a penalty put London level at the end of an extraordinary half of two quarters. It also ended with Canberra a man short, Daley being dispatched to the sin bin for another infringement at the play-the-ball, with Barwick hitting the post.

The Broncos made the extra numbers pay, Gill taking Matterson's pass, dummying to Edwards and forcing his way over two minutes into the second half. Barwick landed the goal for a six-point lead.

They consolidated their position even after the return of Daley, Matterson's lightning pass from dummy-half and Tulsen Tollett's low-trajectory thrust for the line doing the job.

London looked like sure winners when Gill's kick was chased by Martin Offiah and ran loose for Barwick to touch down and Roskell blazed through unmolested for his side's sixth try.

Priddis got one back but it was too late to salvage their prospects in the World Club Championship and Barwick's penalty goal rounded off a commanding hour of football from London.

London: Marden; Roskell, Barwick, Martin, Offiah; Tollett, Beazley; Mestrov, Matterson, Bawden, Dunford, Rosolen, Gill. Substitutes used: Edwards, Hamilton, Howard, Krause,

Canberra: Nagas; Boyle, Wiki, Croker, Fulivai; Daley, Stuart; Pongia, Priddis, Davico, Kennedy, Furner, Burnham. Substitutes used: Westley, McFadden, Woolford, Navruku.

Referee: J Connolly (Wigan).

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