With the first round of fixtures in the Super League and Championship completed, Last Word On Rugby decided to choose the best performing team from each league, as their seasons begin with positive results.
Super League team of the week
On their return to Super League after five years absence, London Broncos produced an impressive performance to beat Wakefield Trinity, 42-24.
It looked as if London’s homecoming would be ruined though, as Trinity stormed into an early 18-6 lead. However, the platform for the host’s triumph was a 20 minute period in the first-half when Danny Ward’s men crossed five times.
Prop Eddie Battye powered over twice on his top-flight debut, as the capital’s team produced another shock result. 42-24 demonstrated how leading early is one thing but, to retain momentum is the key.
The Broncos can be commended for their effort, and if this is a measure of thier team unity, then others will find it hard to control this determined side.
Trinity were being tipped to break into the end of season play-offs for the first time after falling short in the last two campaigns. Therefore, this was a statement victory for the Broncos with many predicting them to struggle.
This result showed they are not here to make up the numbers and could shock others this season.
London Broncos next game v Salford A – Sunday February 10. AJ Bell Stadium
Betfred Championship team of the week
Also in their opening game following promotion, Bradford Bulls, edged past Featherstone Rovers 17-16.
Half back Dane Chisholm’s drop goal gave the hosts the thrilling victory, in an enthralling contest. The Bulls can be encouraged again by the half-back pairing of Chisholm and Jordan Lilley being involved in their best moments.
The Odsal outfit gained promotion from through the play-offs and strengthened well in the off-season. This included players with the calibre of Jake Webster and Jy Hitchcox, joining the Bulls from Castleford Tigers. Rhys Evans; signed from Leigh Centurions, will provide further Super League experience.
Featherstone finished fifth last season, failing to make the qualifiers but have ambitions of another top five finish. They will be disappointed but stayed in the match for long periods, so have a base now to work from after the Championship opening round.
? JOHN KEAR
— Pulse2 Matchday:LIVE (@Pulse2MDL) February 3, 2019
Bradford have sent down an early marker to their play-offs rivals, head coach John Kear confident that it is a start of good things for the West Yorkshire club. Early days, but the Championship should be close – as seen by the scorelines – so fans should be prepared that matches look set to go to the wire.
Bradford Bulls next game v Swinton Lions A – Sunday Feb 10. Heywood Road
Follow the 2019 Super League and Betfred Championship action on Last Word on Rugby with team and player analysis by Sam Harris.
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