5 takeaways as Leeds Rhinos avoid London Broncos upset in golden point

Drew Darbyshire
Lachie Miller Leeds Rhinos Alamy

Lachie Miller in action for Leeds Rhinos against London Broncos

Leeds Rhinos avoided an upset against bottom club London Broncos thanks to a match-winning drop goal from Brodie Croft in golden point extra-time.

The Rhinos got the job done against the Broncos on Saturday afternoon but it was a far from perfect performance: here are the big takeaways and conclusions from the contest.

Rhinos avoid Broncos upset

The Broncos led 16-10 at the break thanks to first half tries from debutant Josh Rourke, Rhys Kennedy and Iliess Macani.

But Leeds fought back in the second half, with Rhyse Martin’s try and conversion levelling the score at 16-16 with 10 minutes to go, ultimately taking the game into golden point, with former Man of Steel Croft coming up clutch with a one-pointer to take a 17-16 victory for the hosts.

Work to do for incoming head coach

Reports emerged Down Under overnight that Brad Arthur is set to be appointed as the new head coach of the Rhinos until the end of the season: and there’s plenty of work to for him to get his teeth stuck into upon his expected imminent arrival at AMT Headingley.

Leeds’ team, on paper, is more than capable of being a play-off side and, dare we say it, a top four side. The talent within the Rhinos squad is undoubted – it just needs to click. Arthur, who spent a decade in charge of Parramatta Eels, will be tasked with turning the club’s fortunes around, with the Rhinos currently sat seventh in the Super League table.

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The green shoots for Leeds

Whilst the overriding feeling at Headingley is that there must be improvement made if they are to make the play-offs for a club of Leeds’ size and stature, there have been a couple of green shoots and positives within the team this year.

James McDonnell is a perfect example. The 24-year-old has been a standout performer for the Rhinos this season, and he was one of their best players again on Saturday. His flick pass which led to Paul Momirovski’s try was filthier than a miner’s shoelace. Go and check it out if you haven’t already seen it. Superb skill.

Another green shoot is homegrown talent Ash Handley, who has been one of Super League’s premiere wingers for several years now, scoring his 12th try in 14 games at Headingley.

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Broncos put up a fight

The Broncos may be sat bottom of the Super League table with just one win to their name – but they haven’t done themselves a disservice this season at all given the circumstances they find themselves in.

Mike Eccles has done a tremendous job in his time in charge with the Broncos, and they’ve not thrown the towel in any games they’ve played this year. They might not have the star quality in their squad compared to other teams in the competition, but their effort has been right up there. They’ll no doubt be gutted they didn’t come away from Headingley with the two points, but if they continue to produce performances like that, then you’d wager them on banking another win or two before the season is done.

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? The Leeds Rhinos side that beat London Broncos in the 1999 Challenge Cup final

Milestone Mik

Rhinos academy product Mikolaj Oledzki reached a proud milestone of making his 150th appearance in blue and amber on Saturday.

The Poland-born prop has been a mainstay in the Rhinos’ forward pack ever since making his first team debut against Doncaster in a Challenge Cup tie back in April 2017.

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