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Catalan 34 London 28

London Broncos showed signs of promise as they fell just short of completing a thrilling comeback against Catalan Dragons.
Catalan 34 London 28

London Broncos showed signs of promise as they fell just short of completing a thrilling comeback against Catalan Dragons.

Tony Rea’s men face a Challenge Cup quarter-final against Sheffield Eagles next weekend - a banana skin tie if ever there was one - and a seventh successive game without a win will have done little for confidence, although they should take heart from a second-half surge which saw them close to within one score having been 30 points behind.

Not even a first start for State of Origin star Jamie Soward could drag the Broncos out of their results slump as Catalan, with a last-eight tie of their own against Hull FC coming, held on to take the points.

It was a night of high emotion for the Dragons, who this week learnt that 39-year-old Steve Menzies - an icon of the game in both hemispheres - would be retiring at the end of the season, but they channelled it well early on.

Menzies himself did not play, with his advancing years considered ahead of next week, but those on the field had enough to see off an inexperienced Broncos side.

The chimes of Big Ben rang out as London entered the field with Rhodri Lloyd amongst them on his debut, but there was nothing timely about their start to the game as Zeb Taia opened the scoring.

Back-to-back penalties then gave the home side more field position and the destructive Kevin Larroyer made good use of it, with Thomas Bosc tagging his first goal of the night to move the score out to 10-0.

Despite Soward's best intentions, there was little happening in the London attack and they were turned around again as Morgan Escare finished off a length-of-the-field move started by Taia's offload, with Bosc again converting.

Luke Dorn was then denied a London score when the video referee penalised a shoulder charge, but the full-back dusted himself down to send Jamie O'Callaghan in at the corner.

The normal order was quickly restored as a London mistake was seized on by Escare who did the rest.

Bosc added the two before touching down himself with seconds of the opening half left.

Another Bosc goal edged the interval score to 28-4 and it did not take long for points to arrive in the second half either.

After Taia was denied by the video referee Scott Dureau nipped in to dot down, with France international Bosc again on the money with the conversion.

In stifling conditions the quality was always going to drop and so it proved during a dip around the hour-mark, but that played into London's hands and Mark Bryant flew into a gap off a Ben Fisher pass to score.

Dorn then got in on the act as he snapped up a Soward chip to ground and when Dan Sarginson stormed his way over with 12 minutes left, a comeback was well under way.

The wind was taken out of London’s sails somewhat when Soward was left in a heap with the incident put on report, but when Sarginson found a way through for his second, that was forgotten.

The hooter ultimately beat the visitors, who won the second half 24-6.

Catalan Dragons 34
Tries: Morgan Escare 2, Zeb Taia, Kevin Larroyer, Thomas Bosc, Scott Dureau
Goals: Thomas Bosc 5

London Broncos 28
Tries: Daniel Sarginson 2, Jamie O'Callaghan, Mark Bryant, Luke Dorn
Goals: Jamie Soward 4

Date: Saturday 6th July 2013
Venue: Stade Gilbert Brutus
Attendance: 6,286
Official: R Hicks
Half Time: Catalan 28-4

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