Leeds 16-18 London: Broncos pull off shock win after late tries
Last Updated: 15/03/19 11:24pm
London Broncos staged a remarkable late comeback to snatch a stunning 18-16 win over Leeds at Headingley.
The Rhinos appeared to have a much-needed victory wrapped up with four minutes to play but tries from Matty Fozard and Will Lovell left Leeds shell-shocked at full-time.
A sixth defeat of the year did not appear even a remote possibility in the closing stages after Richie Myler, Trent Merrin and Tom Briscoe had scored to leave the Rhinos in full control after a dismal first half.
But the promoted Broncos have been no pushovers in the early stages of the season and claimed a third scalp in memorable fashion.
The Rhinos started the match like a team low on confidence - controlling things yet unable to truly stretch their visitors.
Nathaniel Peteru tried to get Leeds going with a rampaging run through the middle of the London defence but aside from that brief scare the Broncos dealt with the early pressure comfortably.
London slowly took control of the contest and opened the scoring after 26 minutes through Kieran Dixon's penalty after Merrin was caught laying in the ruck.
Myler came up with a try-saving tackle to deny Luke Yates but former Leeds forward Pitts touched down on the next play thanks to smart work by Rhys Williams after Briscoe made a mess of Jordan Abdull's cross-field kick.
Dixon converted from out wide to make it 8-0 after half an hour and the Rhinos would have been left with an improbable task had they not dragged down Abdull just short of the line.
The Rhinos came out fired up for the second half and were celebrating their first points in almost two hours when Myler showed good determination to force his way over.
Tui Lolohea added the extras and would have had the opportunity to level the scores had Leeds not turned down another easy two points from a penalty.
Jack Walker had a try chalked off for crossing but the Rhinos did not have to wait much longer for their next score.
Briscoe atoned for his earlier error by catching and releasing Lolohea's high kick, with Liam Sutcliffe and Mikolaj Oledzki keeping the ball alive to put Merrin over for his first Leeds try under the posts.
All of a sudden the Rhinos were playing with confidence and keeping the ball alive at every opportunity, with Lolohea's superb long pass on another last-tackle play laying on a try for Briscoe on his 300th career appearance.
Lolohea missed his first conversion of the night and that proved crucial as Fozard touched down his own kick before Lovell kept a cool head on a chaotic last-tackle play to secure a famous win for London.