18 Mar 2023

MATCH REPORT // Newcastle Thunder 6 v 36 London Broncos

Newcastle Thunder suffer defeat in first home league game of the season.

A disappointing day at the office for Newcastle Thunder, who were playing their first game at Kingston Park since a pre-season friendly against Keighley Cougars in January.

The conditions were difficult throughout the course of the match but ultimately the Broncos proved too much on the day and were clinical where it counted.

The first half alone saw the side hailing from the capital run in four tries without reply from the hosts. Italian international and centre Ethan Natoli opened the scoring after 18 minutes, collecting a deflected kick through and dot down out wide before hooker Bill Leyland powered over just after the half-hour mark. With both conversions missed the score stood at 0-8 in favour of the visitors.

Fullback Alex Walker would cross unopposed for his first of the afternoon minutes later, after Broncos captain Will Lovell broke through a tackle to set up a two-on-one. The conversion successful this time around from Oliver Leyland left the score at 0-14.

With just a minute left to play of the half, Broncos would strike again, this time through centre Jarred Bassett. A break in the middle of the park and some neat hands to move the ball wide saw the Australian dive in the corner. Leyland missed the touchline conversion and the half-time scored stood at 0-18.

Newcastle Thunder would be the first to break the second half deadlock through stand off Jack Miller. The former Keighley man picked up from the base of the ruck to crash over from close range.

Nikau Williams, who has been excellent from the boot so far this season, converted with ease, to take the scores to 6-18 after 55 minutes.

Thunder would look to gain some momentum in the half. Strong breaks from fullback Jack Johnson alongside big collisions from Mitch Clark and Matty Laidlaw, saw the home side on the front foot.

Thunder looked to have scored their second of the afternoon through Hull FC loanee Nick Staveley, only for it to be pulled back for obstruction in the build-up.

With just 11 minutes left to play, the Broncos scored which ultimately took the game away from Thunder’s grasp. Walker was in for his second of the day after collecting a neat kick through. Leyland finding his range converted and the score now stood 6-24.

Broncos would add a further two tries in the final five minutes. Walker crossed for his hat-trick after some good hands in the buildup before Papua New Guinea international and second row Emmanuel Waine ran in from his own half, right on the final whistle.

Leyland converting both, left the final score at 6-36 in favour of London Broncos.


TRIES: Jack Miller.

GOALS: Nikau Williams.


TRIES: Ethan Natoli, Bill Leyland, Alex Walker 3, Jarred Bassett, Emmanuel Waine.

GOALS: Oliver Leyland 4.


Attendance: 978