Hull K R vs London
7:45pm Friday 6th September
KCOM Craven Park
As you wander up the stairs to the first floor offices in London Broncos’ Trailfinders Sports Ground home’s pavilion, you see a picture of the group celebrating the Million Pound Game triumph of the past year.
It’s a reminder of the way the Broncos overcame the odds to defeat Toronto Wolfpack at Canada from the 2018 marketing decider, along with the way they got to that point in the first place after having to win both of their remaining matches to produce the Qualifiers and to get to the aforementioned decider.
The team wind up needing two successes out of their two games – this opportunity to avoid relegation to the Championship after only 1 year back from Super League.
Broncos head coach Danny Ward is therefore aiming to use the past year’s adventures as must-win land is entered by his negative once more.
“We’ve been in knock-out soccer situations before, we have experienced some must-win matches and that is what experience for you,” Ward stated.
“You’ve got to tap into that expertise, you know exactly what it feels like and you understand what it is going to require.
“We have got to draw on those experiences for your lads that were in that Million Pound Game and again show them the hard work we went through was to get all these moments now.”
The very first of these matches is that the Friday off to Hull Kingston Rovers, live on Sky Sports, along with the Broncos head into KCOM Craven Park with won one and lost against the Robins so much in 2019.
One guy who knows all about what is currently waiting in store for your Londoners is Kieran Dixon, who spent two seasons playing before returning to his hometown club for his second spell in 2017.
Throughout that time the winger scored 28 attempts with all the memories of playing and the derbies with rivals Hull FC being fond memories, in 39 appearances, along with incorporating at the 2016 Challenge Cup final.
“This was a lot different to what I’m used to,” Dixon explained. “Clearly I had a good deal of growing up to do, leaving here and going around.
“I was in my and still young – maybe not which I grew up too much, but I climbed up only enough – although the stunt had been wonderful.
“To proceed from here, where you have got a true fan-base but not the biggest, to playing at a scene with six or even 7,000 people every week was eye-opening and the first Hull Derby was some thing I’ll never forget.
“They’re amazing games and I’m happy I played a few of these, but I am happy to be back home now.”
Ward will find himself up against one of the former mentors in Hull KR head coach Tony Smith, who was responsible at Leeds Rhinos if the Broncos boss made his way since a youthful prop in Headingley.
Three adjustments have been made by smith to Rovers’ 19-man team from last Saturday’s 24-6 win off to Catalans Dragons which increased the team of this bottom-placed Broncos, with Mitch Garbutt Craig Hall and Matt Parcell.
Victory on Friday are the perfect solution for Smith to top off a week which saw a fresh three-year contract is agreed by him with the team and will protect the Yorkshire side’s place in Super League for 2020.
“He’s a great trainer, most likely among the greatest I’ve worked with,” Ward explained. “He was tremendous for my sport coming through at Leeds, he helped me a lot and he’s a quality coach.
“He’s certainly brought some stability there and they have obviously seen a great deal of progression because he has just signed a new contract, which is excellent for both Hull KR to know where they are likely to be with Tony and I am sure he will continue to push them to be among the best clubs.
“But hopefully we’ll find the task done Friday night”
Ward has made just one change to the Broncos’ 19-man squad out of last Sunday defeat at home together with Daniel Hindmarsh.
Hull KR 19-man squad: Craig Hall, Ben Crooks, Jimmy Keinhorst, Ryan Shaw, Danny McGuire, Robbie Mulhern, Mose Masoe, Joel Tomkins, Weller Hauraki, Mitch Garbutt, Chris Atkin, Danny Addy, Kane Linnett, Josh Drinkwater, Will Dagger, Daniel Murray, Matt Parcell, Dean Hadley, Kyle Trout
London Broncos 19-man group: Jordan Abdull, Guy Armitage, Eddie Battye, Rob Butler, James Cunningham, Kieran Dixon, Matty Fozard, Matt Gee, Daniel Hindmarsh, Elliot Kear, Olsi Krasniqi, Brock Lamb, Will Lovell, Nathan Mason, Ryan Morgan, Jay Pitts, Alex Walker, Rhys Williams, Luke Yates
Read more: sportxmagazine.com