Catalans 12-30 London: Rhys Williams scores twice as Broncos secure famous win
By Ben Grounds
Last Updated: 15/06/19 10:21pm
Danny Ward was handed the perfect 39th birthday present as London Broncos followed up their win over St Helens by shocking Catalans Dragons 30-12 in Perpignan.
The Broncos remain at the bottom of the Betfred Super League table on points difference, joining Hull KR and Leeds Rhinos on 12 points, as the relegation battle intensified.
Fouad Yaha scored a hat-trick in vain for Catalans as Rhys Williams scored two tries and Kieran Dixon added 14 points as London completed a famous win.
Broncos had lost each of their last six visits to Perpignan, but they collected only their third win in these parts - and first since 2012 - to end Catalans' 14-game winning sequence against them.
London will look to make it three straight wins when they host Hull KR on Thursday, live on Sky Sports, and the Dragons - who were seeking to retake third spot - gave themselves plenty of work to do as they fell behind inside the opening 11 minutes after making very little progress with their sets.
Jordan Abdull collected a fine dab through from Morgan Smith before evading Tony Gigot to score, with Kieran Dixon striking his 40th Super League goal of the season to put the Broncos 6-0 up.
But London were powerless to prevent a sublime break from Gigot as David Mead collected his kick to secure possession 10 metres out on the first tackle, and after Samisoni Langi found Yaha out wide, the winger was too strong for Matty Fleming to score in the corner.
London were still in the ascendancy as Sam Tomkins was unable to add the extras, and after an excellent dummy and hands from Abdull, Rhys Williams collected his pass over the top to dot down a second try for the visitors.
Dixon delivered from out wide for his second goal to stretch London's lead to 12-4, but Yaha benefitted from another fine pass from Langi as the three-time French international bulldozed his way over the line to make it 11 tries for the season.
Tomkins failed to close the gap to within two points of the Broncos as his kick drifted wide once more, and a knock-on from Sam Kasiano again handed London the initiative from the re-start.
The difference heading into the second period was the two missed kicks from Tomkins, with the Broncos in the box seat for only their second away win of the season.
Catalans were camped in front of their opponents' posts for the first eight minutes of the second period before Gigot overplayed with an audacious kick to allow London to earn some respite as they gained 80 metres from a strong defensive set.
A miscommunication between Benjamin Jullien and Mead on the right edge added to the Dragons' frustrations - and things got worse for Steve McNamara's men as the Broncos extended their lead to 10 points just prior to the hour-mark.
Elliot Kear marked his 250th career appearance with his third try of the season as he picked up and pounced on Abdull's kick through to dive over the line.
London Broncos vs Hull K R
June 20, 2019, 7:00pm
Referee Liam Moore checked upstairs for a review of his onside position at the point of Abdull's contact with the boot, but the on-field decision stood as Dixon made no mistake with his third kick.
Catalans won 39-6 when the two sides met in the league in April, but they entered the contest with their confidence knocked after back-to-back defeats - against Warrington and in the Betfred Challenge Cup against Hull FC.
Clear daylight was created as Alex Walker committed defenders before finding Dixon in space out wide, and he burst through the tackle of Yaha before evading Tomkins to roll over for the Broncos as the visitors closed in on two crucial points.
London extended their advantage as Dixon added two more points from a penalty heading into the final 10 minutes, and after excellent work once more from Abdull and fast hands from Jay Pitts, Williams cut inside from the wing to add his second.
Yaha completed his hat-trick, but it was little consolation on a day that belonged to the Broncos.