It has been another brilliant season for London Broncos in the Kingstone Press Championship. They may have struggled in their first year after relegation from Super League but since then, and thanks to the appointment of Andrew Henderson as head coach, they have flourished magnificently.
They’re back in the Qualifiers for a second successive season and after missing out on the Million Pound Game in 2016 due to points difference, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the capital club have moved from strength to strength. From midseason onwards, the Broncos have been the form team in the Championship – only losing one game to table-toppers Hull Kingston Rovers as they sealed their top four spot in fine fashion.
But can they perform when it really matters? In the Qualifiers? As previously mentioned, the Broncos will be a much more dangerous outfit thanks to their experience last season and in addition to the signings that were brought in for the 2017 campaign, there’ll be a few nervous Super League teams around.
Three of the new signings, Jarrod Sammut, Junior Roqica and Kieran Dixon, all had a spell on the sidelines this season as performances weren’t up to the standard coach Henderson expected. That gave them a kick up the backside and they have made sure of their place in the team. Sammut is a maverick, a game winner in a blink of an eye and that x-factor may well come in handy during the middle eights. Dixon has Super League experience of his own and in a very competitive outside back division, he has held himself well and been impressive in his first season back at the club. Roqica forms part of a big pack, which features the likes of Mark Ioane, Mark Offerdahl, Eddie Battye, Ben Evans and Lewis Bienek.
Henderson may not win Championship Coach of the Year as Neil Kelly has done a terrific job at Dewsbury Rams but I’m sure the former Castleford hooker won’t mind as he’s got a good thing going down at Trailfinders. With a healthy amount of central funding coming their way for next season, no matter where they finish in the Qualifiers, the Broncos club looks in fine shape. And in a week where Leigh Centurions supremo Derek Beaumont said Featherstone Rovers are the Qualifiers’ biggest threat from the Championship, I wouldn’t be ruling out a strong promotion effort from the Broncos by any means.