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Thursday 1st August 2013, 20:00 - Round:23
|Luke Dorn, Daniel Sarginson, Ben Fisher,||T||Jamie Peacock, Ben Jones-Bishop, Alex Foster, Paul McShane 2,|
Jamie Soward 3,
Kevin Sinfield 5,
Attendance: 2,377 Official: T Roby Venue: Twickenham Stoop Stadium
Paul McShane popped up with two second-half tries as Leeds Rhinos earned a hard-fought two points with a 30-18 triumph over London Broncos.
McShane came off the bench to strike on 55 and 60 minutes, pushing the Rhinos into a decisive lead.
The brace allowed the visitors to mark skipper Kevin Sinfield’s 500th appearance with a win, while the loss proved another disappointment for the Broncos, who have managed just one triumph on home soil this campaign.
For the hosts, coach Tony Rea made a number of changes as his side looked to recover from their Challenge Cup demolition against Wigan Warriors, installing Ryan Shaw at centre, Chris Melling on the left wing and Mike McMeeken in the second row.
The Rhinos welcomed Kallum Watkins back into the starting ranks, with McShane slotting in among the replacements.
There was a sombre mood before kick-off as both sides observed a minute’s silence in tribute to former Leeds coach Graham Murray, who passed away earlier this week.
And Leeds seemed determined to pay their own tribute on the field, Jamie Peacock muscling over on five minutes after Ryan Hall had gathered Rob Burrow’s kick.
Within 15 minutes the Rhinos had their second score, with former London loanee Ben Jones-Bishop sneaking in at the corner after Watkins had shown great hands to release the winger.
But at least London were showing some fight this time around, Luke Dorn putting the Broncos on the board two minutes later when he stepped inside to dart over.
London huffed and puffed a bit after that but, despite waves of pressure, were unable to claim an equalising score.
And the Rhinos came mightily close to stretching further ahead on 25 minutes, Watkins knocking on as he looked to ground Sinfield’s teasing kick through.
A third Leeds try was not too long in the offing, though, as Jones-Bishop turned provider when he created the space for Alex Foster to stroll over.
The Broncos came close to narrowing the deficit again before the break, Jamie Soward pulling the Leeds defence apart – only for Shaw to drop what would have been a try-scoring pass.
But they did cut the gap three minutes after the break when Dan Sarginson powered over after Soward injected some pace into the London attack.
There was then a lengthy delay after Foster collided with a post trying to tackle Dorn, the Leeds player forced to leave the field.
Both sides were still trying to chance their arm with the ball in hand and Leeds moved back to two scores ahead on 55 minutes when McShane burrowed over from dummy half.
London heads dropped after that, allowing McShane to add his second five minutes later as Leeds eased clear.
To their credit, the Broncos were still giving it their all with Ben Fisher tacking on a third London try when he wriggled over on 65 minutes – an effort that ultimately proved in vain.