Salford 16-19 Broncos: London keep slim Super League play-off hopes alive
Last Updated: 17/09/16 7:51pm
London Broncos kept alive their slim hopes of reaching the promotion play-offs in the Super League qualifiers with a stunning 19-16 victory over Salford.
The shock defeat means Salford cannot finish in the top three and the best they can hope for is a place in the fourth v fifth 'million pound' match if they win at Batley next weekend.
The Red Devils have now lost to Leigh, Hull KR, Leeds and London in an embarrassing run with relegation now looking a distinct possibility.
London made a superb start to shock Salford, taking a 10-6 into the break thanks to a long-range interception try from William Barthau and Scott Leatherbarrow's effort.
The Red Devils could only reply with a George Griffin touchdown converted by Gareth O'Brien.
Man of the match Soward, who also kicked three goals, grabbed a third London try, with Barthau adding a drop goal.
Josh Griffin managed two late tries for Salford to set up a nerve-jangling finale but it was a display they will want to forget.
London, whose only previous win in the Middle Eights had been against Batley, almost fell behind after seven minutes but managed to bundle Junior Sau into touch.
Impressive kicking from Soward pegged back Salford, with a mistake by Josh Griffin on the first tackle not helping the Red Devils' cause.
It was no surprise when the Broncos took the lead after 16 minutes, with Barthau intercepting a Dobson pass to race 60 metres to score too far out for Soward to convert.
It was a rude awakening for Salford who missed a glorious opportunity when Josh Griffin spilled a pass after a powerful burst by Josh Jones.
Craig Kopczak's introduction off the bench briefly pepped the Red Devils but he was forced to hobble off after another typical driving run almost brought a try.
Weller Hauraki became the latest Salford player to toss away possession but a mistake by Rhys Williams gave the Red Devils the platform for George Griffin to bulldoze over five minutes before the break with O'Brien tagging on the conversion.
Then Salford were caught stretched again and, despite a fine tackle by Hauraki, London regained the lead with Leatherbarrow taking Jamie Thackray's pass to plunge over, with Soward kicking the goal.
A Soward penalty should have stretched the lead early in the second half but he was off target with the straightforward attempt.
Burgess spilled a Dobson pass to dash a chance for Salford to notch a second try with a poor ball from O'Brien to Niall Evalds wasting another opportunity.
Soward's break and return pass from Israel Eliab saw the scrum-half touch down after 58 minutes and boot the conversion to increase the lead to 16-6.
Soward added to Salford's woes with a penalty for Mark Flanagan holding down. Barthau landed a drop goal to open up a 13-point cushion and bring a deserved victory even closer.
Josh Griffin broke through a poor Eliab tackle five minutes from time for the Red Devils' second try, and then went over again - but the comeback was too late.