Rugby League: Wigan old boys put Broncos on a high

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The Independent Online
London Broncos 38 Wigan 12

London Broncos moved into second place in Super League, the highest position they have achieved since Fulham were born 17 years ago, as two distinguished Wigan old boys played significant roles in humbling their old club in the second half.

Martin Offiah scored a try as did Shaun Edwards in a hugely influential performance. But it was sustained superiority rather than isolated brilliance that gave the Broncos one of their most memorable victories.

London trailed to an Andy Farrell penalty and struggled to make any headway through Wigan's defence until Josh White gratefully accepted a gift after 15 minutes. White read Tony Smith's intentions perfectly to intercept his pass and go 50 yards unopposed for a try that Greg Barwick improved.

Another Farrell penalty narrowed the gap, but London soon struck again. White was at the heart of it once more, launching a high kick that Steve Rosolen leapt to win. Better still, he moved the ball straight to Offiah, who had an open tryline.

Wigan survived another purposeful Broncos attack before claiming their first try, Henry Paul and Farrell combining in their own half for Smith to race away and make up for his earlier error.

A penalty foolishly conceded for holding down by Russell Bawden allowed Farrell to put Wigan level in the second half.

Undeterred, London probed away with some excellent rugby, settling for a Terry Matterson drop goal when they could not get over the try line.

The quality of their play deserved a more substantial reward and they got it when Tulsen Tollett, Peter Gill and Andrew Hamilton linked up for Edwards to score.

When Barwick went over in the corner from an overlap soon after, a little bit of club history was beckoning the Broncos.

Barwick was having a charmed night, scoring again in the corner and kicking both goals. The outstanding White chipped in with a drop goal before Scott Roskell's last minute try and another Barwick goal underlined the Londoner's mastery.

London Broncos: Tollett; Roskell, Martin, Barwick, Offiah; White, Edwards; Mestrov, Matterson, Howard, Rosolen, Bawden, Gill. Substitutes used: Dunford, Salter, Duncan, Hamilton.

Wigan: Cardiss; Robinson, Connolly, Radlinski, Koloi; Paul, Smith; O'Connor, Talbot, Hansen, Haughton, Cassidy, Farrell. Substitutes used: Holgate, Tallec, P Johnson.

Referee: R Smith (Castleford).