20 August 2016

London Broncos 28 - 42 Leeds Rhinos

Various things have conspired against me seeing Leeds Rhinos playing in recent years, mostly the London's only team, the Broncos, moving away from Twickenham (a comfortable walking distance) to Enfield (I have no idea how to get there) and then being relegated so that they had no regular fixture against Rhinos.

Then Rhinos helped by having a terrible start to the season so that they played in the end of season Qualifiers rather than the Super 8s and the Broncos helped by moving to Ealing which I can get to on one bus.

Well, normally it would be one bus but a road closure meant that three buses or, as it turned out, one long walk to Richmond and then the rerouted 65. I had planned to walk from Ealing Station to the ground but I had done enough walking by then so I took the 297 bus. It was good to see a few other people in various Leeds Rhinos shirts get on the bus with me. None of us had been to the ground before so we all used our phones to work out the route and mine threw me off the bus the stop before everybody else, it was not a long walk from there to the ground but I suspect that everybody else took the better option.

First impressions of Ealing Trailfinders was good. Two sides of the ground were little more than basic but, at one end, had a reasonable amount of covered seating and along one side was the main building with grandstand, bar, shop and dressing rooms. Judging by the noise coming from there that is where all the Broncos fans were; they had to be somewhere as the rest of the ground was packed with Rhinos fans.

The game itself was patchy with Leeds Rhinos dominating the possession and territory for large sections of the game, enabling them to run in an impressive eight tries, but they also lost concentration a few times to allow Broncos to run in five tries themselves, including the first one and the last two. Several of the Rhino's tries came from wide play with winger Tom Briscoe getting three, and with the gusting wind several conversions were missed which also made the score closer than it could have been. The final score flattered Broncos somewhat and I had hoped for something like the 12-58 win I had seen a couple of years ago.

Still, a win is a win and I was happy with that and with the chance to see Leeds Rhinos in the flesh again.

And I was so buoyed by the win that I walked all the way back to Ealing before taking the 65 back to Teddington where I found a pub to celebrate in.

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