Super 8s Qualifiers: London 28-42 Leeds
Last Updated: 22/08/16 4:33pm
Tom Briscoe's hat-trick helped Leeds Rhinos remain on course to stay in the Super League as they swept aside London Broncos 42-28.
Last year's champions have now won all three of their Super 8s Qualifiers and look a safe bet for a top three finish as they ran in five more tries alongside Briscoe's treble.
Good defensive skills were shown by the Broncos, who also took the chances they managed to carve out in attack, but in the end the class of Leeds overshadowed them.
The Broncos knew they would need a good start and in the fifth minute, they got just that as a great tap tackle on Kallum Watkins by Will Barthau started a counter-attack which ended with Rhys Williams dotting down.
That only seemed to wake the Rhinos up, though, and they soon went ahead as Briscoe bagged his first try before Liam Sutcliffe also cruised over the line.
But just as it seemed the Rhinos were hitting their stride, the Broncos got back into proceedings as after defending another attack from the visitors, they went up the field aided by a penalty and saw James Cunningham dance through the tackles from 40 metres out to score under the posts.
The lead did not last long as in a similar move to his first try, Briscoe found acres of space on the right wing to race in for another four points.
More pressure was applied by the Rhinos before half-time and two minutes before the break, excellent offloading opened up room for James Segeyaro to bag a try, which Sutcliffe converted to make it 20-12 to the visitors at the interval.
That lead should have been extended just two minutes into the second half as Watkins got over the line after a sweeping move towards the right. But complacency got the better of him and having not dotted down, Ben Hellewell flew in and knocked the ball out of Watkins' hands, much to the despair of Rhinos players, coaches and fans.
The Rhinos made amends four minutes later as Brett Ferres' kick was spilled by the Broncos defence and Jordan Lilley was on hand to grab the ball and score.
Leeds were starting to push away from their opponents and soon Mitch Achurch bounced off several defenders before dotting the ball down for another try.
Mistakes were also beginning to creep into the Broncos' game as Jamie Soward's restart went straight into touch, starting another try-scoring move for Leeds as Watkins got over after a fantastic pass by Ferres set him free.
Despite the game being taken away from them, the hosts still kept their heads up and were rewarded with a converted try on the hour-mark as Nick Slyney pierced the Rhinos defence to sprint in under the posts from 15 metres out.
They could not keep the Rhinos from extending their lead again shortly afterwards, however, as Briscoe completed his hat-trick.
Some consolation was added for the Broncos as Iliess Macani and Elliot Kear ran in late tries to close the final deficit to 14 points.