RUGBY LEAGUE

“We hammer that resilience into them” – Ward

London Broncos coach Danny Ward praised his side’s resilience after they overcame an eight-point deficit to beat Leeds Rhinos 18-16 with two tries in the last five minutes.

It is the second time the Broncos have caused an upset this month, after they held on to beat Wigan 18-16 at home just two weeks ago.

And while Ward admits his side were on the ropes in the second half, he was delighted with the way they responded late on: “We weren’t great second half and credit to Leeds, they came out steaming and were all over us.

“The boys looked a bit short at times, we conceded a couple of tries on the last plays and when that happens it absolutely deflates you.

“At that point I was fearing the worst but credit to the boys to find something, to stick together, to stick to the plan and show that resilience to come back.

“We work hard to hammer that resilience into them, they come through good times and bad times and still stick together.

“There were times in that second half where I thought they were gone and it’s hard to get that momentum to swing back in your favour but once we had a good couple of sets we thought ‘yeah, we’ve got them here’.”

The Broncos returned to Super League in 2019 after a four year absence, following their defeat of Toronto in the Million Pound Game in October last year.

And playing in games like that is what Ward credits for preparing his side so well for Super League: “The boys have experienced some big games, they’ve experienced tight games playing against Super League opposition and that’s why I was such a fan of the Super 8’s system.

“It prepared us well going into the back end of those seasons with the playoffs and Million Pound Game because we came up against quality Super League opposition like Warrington and Leeds and that’s stood the boys in good stead coming into this season.

“Some lads are still finding their feet and getting used to playing quality teams every week because it’s a shock to the system but they keep working hard and raising their game so credit to them.

Ahead of the season, few tipped London to win three games all season, never mind in their first seven games.

However, with a quarter of the season gone, the Broncos are currently in seventh, level on points with Hull FC and Hull KR and above Leeds, Wigan and Huddersfield.

Despite their flying start, though, Ward insists his team are staying grounded: “It’s nice to get a few wins on the board but we’re not getting carried away.

“There’s a long season ahead of us and we only focus on one week at a time so once we’ve enjoyed this one we’ll move onto Hull at home next week.

“It’s great for the lads’ confidence to beat Wigan then come to Leeds and win.

“It shows we are capable of very good things so as long as we keep believing and keep working hard we’ll be onto the next job.”

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