Saints suffer shock defeat at London Broncos

Kieran Dixon. Picture: SWPix
Kieran Dixon. Picture: SWPix
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Morgan Smith's golden-point drop-goal saw London Broncos claim a shock 23-22 comeback victory over Super League leaders St Helens in a pulsating game in the capital.


Saints looked to be on course for a 16th win of the campaign after taking control with two early tries from James Roby and Luke Thompson.

The rock-bottom Broncos hit back to level things up at 12-12 by the break with scores from Ryan Morgan and James Cunningham but St Helens moved back in front again when Mark Percival crossed in the 50th minute.

The Broncos roared back once more, though, and tries from Morgan and Jay Pitts saw them take the lead for the first time, and they remained in front until the 79th minute.

That was when Danny Richardson's superb touchline conversion following Regan Grace's last-gasp try made it 22-22, but London were not to be denied a famous win as Smith sealed victory in the most dramatic of fashions.

The visitors, who had lost just once in Super League this season coming into the game, got off to a flyer with two tries inside the first 10 minutes.

First, a knock-on by Elliot Kear gifted possession to St Helens and Dominique Peyroux picked up the loose ball and ran forward, allowing the visitors to set up deep in Broncos territory.

And Saints ensured the chance did not go to waste as Roby picked the ball up from the scrum-half spot before darting over the line.

That lead was doubled soon after, Richardson's grubber kick finding Thompson, who grabbed the ball one yard out and went over the line.

Richardson added the extras both times to make it 12-0 and seemingly put Saints in complete command.

It was a while before the hosts could mount any serious threat but their first points of the day came out of the blue.

Morgan managed to read Jack Welsby's pass to perfection and intercept it before racing to the try-line to touch down.

Then, on the stroke of half-time, Cunningham received the ball and through a combination of power and pace, burst through the St Helens line before diving over, with Kieran Dixon once again adding the conversion.

Kevin Naiqama had a fantastic chance to get the visitors on the board in their first attack of the second half but he dropped the ball two yards out with the line at his mercy.

The Broncos then had their own opportunity to take the lead but Luke Yates, acting as dummy-half, fumbled on the last tackle.

There was eventually a breakthrough, Grace flicking inside to Percival, who just managed to touch down to put Saints 16-12 up.

Almost immediately, though, the hosts were back level again. Morgan burst his way over after a prolonged period of possession deep in St Helens territory.

With the game entering its final stages, Jordan Abdull's grubber kick managed to evade two defenders in the St Helens goal area, allowing Pitts to sneak in and touch down.

Dixon's conversion gave struggling London a six-point lead with just over 10 minutes to play, and an upset looked on against the league leaders.

However, Grace managed to get the visitors back into the game, twisting and turning in the corner before finally wriggling his way over - but it all came down to Richardson's conversion on the touchline.

With such a crucial kick in a challenging position, Richardson slotted it over perfectly to draw the sides level with a minute to play and send the game to golden-point extra-time.

After a crucial knock-on by the visitors, Smith sent over not the most convincing of drop-kicks - but it was enough to seal the victory for the hosts.