Wakefield Trinity 19-10 London Broncos: Ryan Hampshire's double helps seal Super League status
By Sky Sports Rugby League
Last Updated: 14/09/19 10:02am
Ryan Hampshire's two tries helped seal Wakefield's Super League place with a 19-10 win that condemns London Broncos to relegation.
Wakefield led 8-0 at half-time on Friday night thanks to a penalty from Danny Brough and a converted try from winger Hampshire, but the Broncos were not without their chances.
Kieran Dixon missed what seemed like a kickable penalty which would have levelled the match at 2-2, while Ryan Morgan had a score chalked off as the pass to him from Alex Walker was forward.
However, Hampshire's second and a further score from Reece Lyne put Trinity firmly in command after the break and on course to confirm a 22nd consecutive season in Super League, and send the Broncos back down to the Championship after one year in the top flight.
Danny Ward's team began the evening level on points with Hull Kingston Rovers, Huddersfield Giants and Wakefield, but in bottom place due to their inferior points difference.
Both sides knew a win would be enough to preserve their place in the top flight for next year and went set-for-set during the opening quarter as try-scoring opportunities were scarce.
Half-back Brough converted a penalty from in front of the posts to make it 2-0, but moments later the Broncos advanced up field and Trinity prop Craig Kopczak knocked on 10 metres from his own line.
That led to a spell of pressure from the visitors which saw them awarded a penalty after Danny Kirmond was pinged for holding down, but winger Dixon sent his conversion attempt wide.
In the 16th minute, the Broncos went close in the right corner when Lamb's flighted kick was narrowly missed by Dixon.
Three minutes later, the away side survived at the other end when Brough's last-tackle kick to the right corner was grounded by Ben Jones-Bishop, but the winger knocked on and no try was awarded.
At the other end, London earned a goal-line drop-out when Walker latched onto Lamb's high kick, which came to nothing.
Wakefield began to look more dangerous and claimed the opening try in the 24th minute when Jacob Miller's kick to the left corner was expertly fielded by Hampshire.
He found team-mate Morgan Escare inside him and the Frenchman's reverse pass then sent Hampshire over the line for a try which Brough improved to push Trinity eight points ahead.
The Broncos thought they were off the mark in the 38th minute when Walker's short offload sent Ryan Morgan over the line, but the final pass from the Scotland international was forward.
Five minutes after the restart, Wakefield struck again. After forcing London into a goal-line drop-out, the hosts worked the ball out to the left flank where Hampshire collected Miller's long pass and touched down.
Brough converted to make it 14-0 and in the 52nd minute, the Broncos had their best chance yet when Dixon almost grounded a kick in the right corner, narrowly failing to do so.
Wakefield soon advanced up field and scored a third try when Brough's clever grubber kick was touched down by centre Lyne.
Brough also landed a drop-goal for Trinity before London hit back with tries from Walker, who forced his way over in the right corner, and then Lamb in the closing stages.