London Broncos may be sat at the foot of the Super League table, but they will head to the KCOM Stadium for this evening’s game with Hull FC with a significant feeling of hope as they still have eight games to save their top flight status in one of the closest seasons to date.
Danny Ward’s side are only bottom on points difference, and still only four points away from 7th place as we head towards the home straight of the 2019 regular season.
However, they will face a Hull FC side just as keen to earn two competition points tonight after last week’s disappointing defeat to St Helens.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of tonight’s game with the Broncos…
What’s the team news?
Dean Hadley and Kieran Buchanan are both in the squad, replacing Albert Kelly (hamstring) and Andre Savelio (foot).
Gareth Ellis is also included in the Hull FC squad after receiving 40 stitches around his eye following a nasty clash of heads in last week’s game against St Helens.
Sam Davis and Matty Fleming return to Ward’s London squad, replacing Morgan Smith and Olsi Krasniqi.
James Cunningham is also expected to feature against the club where he began his career.
FC 19-man squad: Jamie Shaul, Bureta Faraimo, Carlos Tuimavave, Josh Griffin, Marc Sneyd, Scott Taylor, Danny Houghton, Josh Bowden, Dean Hadley, Mark Minichiello, Joe Westerman, Jake Connor, Chris Green, Brad Fash, Sika Manu, Mickey Paea, Ratu Naulago, Gareth Ellis, Kieran Buchanan
LB 19-man squad: Alex Walker, Rhys Williams, Ben Hellewell, Elliot Kear, Kieran Dixon, Jordan Abdull, James Cunningham, Eddie Battye, Mark Ioane, Jay Pitts, Sadiq Adebiyi, Matty Fozard, Greg Richards, Matty Gee, Matty Fleming, Ryan Morgan, Luke Yates, Rob Butler, Sam Davis
What’s the lowdown on the Broncos?
Despite sitting at the bottom of the Super League table, London have managed to defeat St Helens, Wigan Warriors, Leeds Rhinos and Catalans Dragons this season, which means tonight’s match against the capital club will be no walk in the park.
After conceding 36 first half points against Warrington Wolves last weekend, London managed to keep Steve Price’s side scoreless in the second half, proving that there is some defensive resolve present in the Broncos ranks.
Only Hull Kingston Rovers have conceded more points than London so far this season, but as the season comes towards its climax, the Broncos have been showing more grit to keep their survival hopes alive until the very end.
Earlier in the season, Hull FC managed to defeat London at Ealing Trailfinders, but the Black & Whites had to stave away a late rally from the Broncos as they came close to completing an impressive comeback, highlighting the spirit and belief that Ward’s side possess.
What’s the memorable match?
The Black & Whites have enjoyed many road trips up, down and across the country down the years, and the 2012 journey to face London in South East England is one that will stand out to many who were there that day.
Gillingham FC’s Preistfields Stadium switched from football goalposts to rugby sticks as Hull FC edged a 14-12 win over the Broncos!
Kieran Dixon scored his first try for London to open the scoring, but the Airlie Bird’s responded through Ben Crooks, Richard Whiting and a Danny Tickle penalty.
Michael Robertson reduced the deficit to just two points, but Hull held on in the grandstand Gillingham finale!
Who are the ones to watch?
FC: Hull FC’s spine players will prove to be a key asset in helping the Black & Whites onto a victory tonight, including the likes of Danny Houghton, Marc Sneyd and Joe Westerman. But it is Jamie Shaul who is in some fine form of late, scoring tries in two of his last three appearances. With an average gain of over eight metres per carry, his fleet-footed work from quick play-the-balls could prove to be a huge thorn in the London side this evening. Shaul’s former team mate Jordan Abdull will be looking to test the FC fullback under numerous high bombs.
LB: Alex Walker could well the latest household name in Super League to hail from the south of England after making his mark in style so far this season. The fullback has only scored three tries for the Broncos so far this season, but his all-round play in both attack and defence has impressed many. Looking safe under the high ball, London will be hoping that he can help them start their sets on the front foot.
What are the key match details?
Where: KCOM Stadium, Walton St, Hull, HU3 6HU
When: Thursday 11th July 2019, 7:45pm kick-off
Tickets: KCOM Stadium Ticket Office, online here and over the phone by calling 01482 505 600.