Rugby League talking points: Broncos shock Super League, Johnstone's hat-trick & Widnes' emotional win
By Sky Sports Rugby League
Last Updated: 04/03/19 1:27pm
London Broncos' huge shock, Tom Johnstone's hat-trick and Widnes' emotional victory feature in this week's talking points...
Broncos shock Super League
Just who would have expected this ahead of the weekend? Newly-promoted London Broncos - heavily, heavily fancied to go straight back down to the Championship - up against defending Super League champions Wigan Warriors on Sunday.
To have called a London win would have been deemed foolish - yet that is exactly what happened as the Broncos pulled off a memorable 18-16 success at the Trailfinders Sports Ground.
Without doubt, it is the shock of the season so far. Wigan are floundering, London will now be bouncing.
And what makes it all the more enthralling is the incredible story of London: it's very much like a "moneyball" scenario where players in the team have been released from other clubs and given an opportunity by the Broncos to show their worth.
They more than showed it on Sunday.
Johnstone's magnificent hat-trick
With Leeds returning to Headingley on Friday to play in front of their spanking new South Stand, most people expected the Rhinos to see off Wakefield.
David Furner's side started the contest like a side in the mood too, scoring the first try through Ash Handley and generally dominating play.
After those early stages, however, it was Trinity who put in one of the displays of the season, rocking Leeds with their accuracy and the clinical nature to their attack - central to this was wing Tom Johnstone.
The 23-year-old scored a first-half hat-trick in less than 12 minutes on Friday night - each of them super efforts. He showed poaching instincts for his first, an acrobatic finish for his second and wonderful aerial ability for his third.
From there, the visitors never looked back and romped to a fantastic 35-18 away victory. What a talent Johnstone is.
The best of the rest
Widnes have had it really tough of late, with Jason Shaw, a member of the consortium that completed a takeover of the Vikings on Friday, thanking the fans for keeping the Rugby League club alive last week.
Widnes hosted Featherstone Rovers in the Championship on Sunday, and produced a morale-boosting 44-22 victory. In the week that was in it, it was a huge and emotional victory for all concerned.
Elsewhere in the Championship over the weekend, Dewsbury must take some credit as they lost two men to cards (Chris Annakin red and Daniel Igbinedion yellow) but still almost pulled off the shock of the season as they led leaders Toronto 17-4 with 15 minutes to go.
Brian McDermott's Canadian outfit broke Dewsbury hearts though, scoring three late tries in the space of just five minutes to eventually win 22-17. Hats off on both counts - to the performance of Dewsbury, and the ability of Toronto to dig the result out.
James Roby is another who deserves great credit following the weekend's games after his consistently brilliant form continued in St Helens' 26-4 win over Salford on Thursday.
With the new Man of Steel system in place this year - It's Roby who looks the early front-runner.
Hemmings to retire after four decades...
Sky Sports' very own Eddie Hemmings, the voice of rugby league for over four decades, is hanging up his microphone and leaving a post he has held at Sky since 1990.
The news was confirmed on Friday, with Eddie's farewell game for Sky Sports to be the famous Good Friday derby between Wigan and St Helens on April 19.
For a quarter of a century, Eddie and Mike 'Stevo' Stephenson were the sport's definitive voices and best-loved characters. Together, they shaped the Super League era, working on two World Cups, countless Super League games and over 15 years' worth of Great Britain and home nations internationals.
Chapeau Eddie - you will be missed. Below, we revisit one of his greatest moments: calling Chris Joynt's remarkable winner for St Helens over Bradford in 2000. Who remembers this?! - It's Wide to West!