London Broncos shock Widnes in 21-20 Super League Qualifiers win

Jarrod Sammut
Jarrod Sammut

Kieran Dixon scored two second-half tries and Jarrod Sammut struck a last-minute drop goal as London Broncos stunned top flight Widnes 21-20 in the opening round of the Super League Qualifiers.

The well-drilled Broncos were outstanding and thoroughly deserved the two points which gives them a perfect start to the extremely competitive Super League Qualifiers, which feature current Super League champions Leeds Rhinos and Championship table-toppers Toronto.

For Widnes, though, the result saw them suffer a 17th successive defeat as interim head coach Francis Cummins watched his side falter once again following a stuttering performance.

If Widnes thought this was going to be easy then they were in for a sharp shock as only a converted Olly Ashall-Bott try separated the two sides at the break.

In fact it took Widnes 30 minutes to register their first promising attack as Joe Mellor chipped and chased his own kick deep into London territory for a half-chance, although nothing came of it in the end.

However, the Vikings landed the try they were searching for just two minutes later as Ashall-Bott scampered in.

Krisnan Inu hit the conversion from in front of the posts and that was the way the score stayed until four minutes into the second half, when London's blockbusting prop Mark Ioane crossed to get the Broncos on the scoreboard and make it 6-4.

But the visiting side's ill-discipline cost them and they were penalised for an infringement at the ruck that led to Inu adding the extras that inched Widnes further ahead

The organised Broncos kept at the task in hand and although Chris Dean crossed for Widnes as he burst onto a Mellor pass - helping to put his side 14-4 ahead - the Vikings were second best.

And London were rewarded for their efforts by scoring four tries in the final 22 minutes to take the victory.

First Daniel Harrison steamed over for a well-worked try as he latched onto a neat pass from stand-off Api Pewhairangi, and then two minutes later Alex Walker sent in Dixon for a simple score out wide.

At 14-14 the Vikings were still well in the game but, instead of being patient, they threw caution to the wind.

New Widnes signing Liam Finn attempted an ambitious pass out wide that missed his Vikings team-mates and was intercepted by Dixon, who sprinted in from 70 metres out.

Sammut slotted over the conversion to give the Broncos a six-point lead with only minutes remaining.

There was still time for the Vikings to get back in it and Finn made amends with a towering kick which was eventually finished off by Inu, who converted his own score to level the game at 20-20.

However, Australian half-back Sammut worked London to a kickable drop goal position in the dying seconds and he struck a beautiful kick through the middle of the posts to win the game.

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