London Broncos 52 Doncaster RLFC 12: Full-timers too good for Dons

Mike Emmett, Doncaster's second try scorer.  Picture: Malcolm Billingham
Mike Emmett, Doncaster's second try scorer. Picture: Malcolm Billingham

Doncaster crashed to a 52-12 defeat in their opening Championship Shield clash against London Broncos at The Hive.

Gary Thornton’s men, who lacked injured playmaker Paul Mennell, belied their record this season in the first half and the 24-6 interval lead flattered the home side.

But the second half was mainly one-way traffic and there was never any likelihood of the Dons mounting another spirited comeback as they had in the 26-22 defeat in February, as the full-time Broncos made hay.

Broncos, who had raced into an early 20-0 lead when the two sides met at The Hive on the opening day of the season, were again quickly out of the blocks – centre Ben Hellewell touching down near enough for centre Wes Naiqama to convert after just five minutes.

The visitors came under further pressure before levelling the scores on nine minutes. Full-back Dave Scott, who also added the extras, joined the attack and flung out a long pass to give former England winger Peter Fox, who is now the club’s top scorer this season with six, the chance to score for the second successive game.

The Dons gave as good as they got for the rest of an encouraging first quarter, but fell behind again when a penalty helped give Broncos the attacking position which led to the first of full-back Elliott Kear’s hat-trick.

Next Naiqama collected Joe Keyes’ kick before sending second-rower Jason Walton over for a third converted try.

Broncos added further tries to lead 40-6. The Dons lost strong-running prop Mitch Clarke with an arm injury, before two of their most consistent players – Kyle Kesik and scorer Mike Emmett - combined to set up their second try on 70 minutes. But Broncos hit back with two further tries.

London Broncos: Kear; Williams, Hellewell, Naiqama, Macani; Barthau, Keyes’ Walker, Henderson, Wallace, Garside, Walton, Minchella. Subs: Cunningham, Davis, Riley, Everett.

Dons: Scott; Hodson, Doherty, Welham, Fox; McLocklan, Kittrick; Clarke, Kesik, Groat, Foster, Musolino, Emmett. Subs: Spiers, Tagoloa, Kelly, Verlinden.

Referee: C Leatherbarrow.