So close! Yet so far as London Broncos returned to the Betfred Championship for 2020.
But they stunned all by managing to take the race for survival literally right down to the wire that produced an exciting showdown.
But it was not to be as their reward for toppling Toronto last year has arguably been dampened by their journey back to the second division, with the latter club eventually replacing them
However, they recorded plenty of strong results in their campaign, all of which may do the sport all the good down South in the hopes of expansion as we look back at the Broncos’ season!
Best result: London Broncos 23-22 St Helens
Too tempting not to mention! London’s best result of the season has to be one of their home wins over league leaders St Helens, though their first and more narrow result.
Why?! Well both of the Saints’ trips to London may have attracted controversy amongst the Broncos’ relegation rivals but this one really did see the hosts battle hard and come out worthy winners.
But Saints fielded a weaker side?! Well the team named seemed rather an experienced side for this clash and the Broncos ousted them, coming from behind more than once to do so!
The visitors led 12-0 thanks to efforts from James Roby and Luke Thompson, converted by Danny Richardson and immediately, viewers would have thought another ‘walk in the park’ but far from it as London responded with tries from Ryan Morgan and James Cunningham just before the break.
Mark Percival gave the Saints the lead back but a second from Morgan and one from Jay Pitts gave London the lead before Regan Grace’s late effort, converted, forced the game into golden point.
But up stepped Morgan Smith to slot over the priceless one-pointer to send his team, staff and supporters alike into delirium on a famous and memorable afternoon down the in the capital!
Worst result: London Broncos 28-58 Salford Red Devils
Taking nothing away from Salford Red Devils but this was not London’s finest hour.
The visitors would go on to record their greatest ever finish in a Super League season, but was that an excuse for London to concede a staggering 58 points on home soil?!
The game was also a demonstration of just how things can change in such a short period, with London surprising Salford in the 2018 Super 8s Qualifiers in Ealing to help them back into Super League!
But Salford, led by Man of Steel Jackson Hastings, had other ideas. The Australian notched a try, as did Mark Flanagan, Josh Jones, Tui Lolohea and Kris Welham, with Krisnan Inu scoring two and unsung hero Niall Evalds bagging a hat-trick.
London could only respond with efforts from Rhys Williams, Luke Yates, Matty Fleming, Sadiq Adebiyi and Rob Butler, but the damage was done.
Ultimately, a game that would help inflict relegation misery on them, giving them plenty of lessons to be learnt for when they attempt to find a way back into the big league!
Main man: Jordan Abdull
No longer with the club but that did not stop Jordan Abdull enjoying a successful season personally with the Broncos.
Abdull, now on his way back to Hull Kingston Rovers, was a stand-out player, proving to be a tricky opponent for all opposition throughout 2019.
The 23-year-old scored ten tries and managed 14 assists as well as 164 attacking kicks, the second highest amount from any player this season.
Such skill saw him help London become much more competitive than many initially perceived, another reason why the survival race went so far!
Furthermore, no doubt his talent would have impressed future boss Tony Smith and the Robins as Abdull will return to the Super League to haunt his opponents once more!
Predicted 12th – Finished 12th
Let’s face it, who did not tip this?! However, in the manner of how they went down, who would also have predicted that?!
One of the beautiful factors of our great game and one of the reasons why arguably reverting to a play-off structure instead of the Super 8s was a smart move!
London battled and battled all the way to the final few seconds of the season as quite a few tipped them to be nothing more than cannon fodder.
How wrong could you get as in the run-in, many started changing their minds and said they’d survive.
However, it was not to be as London did fall victim to the competition’s greatest ever finish but should return as hot contenders for promotion next season!