London Broncos to face Bradford Bulls in fifth round of Challenge Cup


Broncos beat Featherstone Rovers in a hard-fought fourth round tie.


By Andrew Belt

London Broncos will play at home in the Fifth Round of the Challenge Cup as they look to attain glory at Wembley come August.

The draw, made on Monday afternoon, pitted Francis Cummins’ Bradford Bulls as the visitors to Twickenham Stoop on the weekend of May 11/12.

A quarter-final berth awaits the winners of the tie, after London eventually beat Championship side Featherstone Rovers in the Fourth Round on Saturday.

Head coach Tony Rea said he had every confidence the Broncos would come out on top.

“I was very, very confident at half time. It may sound a bit strange but I thought the first 20 minutes was the best 20 minutes I’ve seen for a long time from us,” said the Australian of the 24-12 victory.

The first 20 minutes of the game were scoreless and it was part-time Featherstone who held the upper hand with a slender 4-0 lead by the interval.

With a major upset on the cards, Rea was delighted that his side grappled with opponents who had toppled Super League Castleford Tigers at the same stage of the Challenge Cup last season.

He said: “We had to hang in there and would have lost the game if we’d have rolled over but we didn’t do that.

“We were really strong and stayed together. It was just a matter of regrouping. It became a bit hard to look at on the sideline but as long as we stayed in it I knew we were going to be ok.”

Star winger Kieran Dixon continued his sparkling form, scoring the Broncos’ first and adding a second try to add to the 14 touchdowns, making him this season’s joint-top try scorer in Super League this season.

Featherstone made a good fist of the encounter and although the thoroughbreds of Championship rugby league couldn’t overcome the Super League strugglers, Rea was full of praise for theWest Yorkshire side’s efforts.

“Featherstone are a real credit to themselves and the cup and everything about it,” he said.

“They played fantastically well.”

With London highly unlikely to make the Super League play-offs, the Challenge Cup represents their best opportunity to make an impact in the sport this year.

Getting into the spirit of the competition, the Broncos played in a specially-designed Challenge Cup shirt which incorporates colours from the club’s 33-year history.

The special shirts will be auctioned off at the end of the year with proceeds going back into the London Broncos Foundation and the development of young players at the club.

With a few more virtuoso performances from Dixon and co, maybe league woes will give way to more success in the cup and breathe new life into the sport in South West London.

Photo courtesy of LondonBroncosRL via YouTube, with thanks.

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