26 May 2019

Leeds hold on against London

Leeds Rhinos held off a determined fightback from London Broncos to deliver a first win for interim coach Richard Agar and ease their relegation fears in a gripping contest at the Dacia Magic Weekend.

The Rhinos led 24-10 with 10 minutes left but in the end were hanging on for a 24-22 victory that could prove crucial in the final reckoning.

Jack Walker crossed the line in the second minute only to be called back for obstruction and then accepted an offload from James Donaldson to race clear and set up the position for stand-off Liam Sutcliffe to force his way over for the opening try.

Sutcliffe added the goal before winger Ash Handley forced his way over at the corner for the Rhinos’ second try to make it 10-0 after nine minutes.

The Broncos pulled a try back on 24 minutes when Alex Walker got Ryan Morgan racing through a gap in the Leeds defence.

Kieran Dixon’s conversion cut the deficit to four points but the Rhinos scored again early in the second half as Walker took Richie Myler’s pass to go over for their third try to extend the lead to 14-6.

Jordan Abdull went over for his side’s second try on 48 minutes before Leeds centre Harry Newman forced his way over for a fourth try on 63 minutes that restored his side’s eight-point advantage.

The game appeared to be up when Alex Sutcliffe, sent on in place of a struggling Walker for the last quarter, broke through the Broncos line and Myler seized on the final pass to score what proved to be the decisive try.

The Broncos were not finished, however, for Abdull took a return pass from skipper Jay Pitts to score his second try and was heavily involved when Kear got Walker over for their fourth try.

Dixon’s third goal meant there were just two points in it and Leeds were scrambling for safety in the end.

London Broncos coach Danny Ward said: "It’s another tough one but I don’t think we deserved to win. I thought Leeds were the best side over the 80 minutes."

Leeds interim coach Richard Agar said: "It was being billed as a relegation battle but there’s still plenty of time to go.

“We’re not thinking we’re alright now because we’ve got two points here - because from our performance it shows that there’s no real quick fixes for this. We’ve got to still keep working hard."