Super League: Bottom club London Broncos win 17-4 to upset Catalans
|Betfred Super League|
|Catalans Dragons (0) 4|
|London Broncos (8) 17|
|Tries: Dixon, Walker Goals: Dixon 4 Drop goal: Lamb|
Super League bottom club London Broncos cranked up the pressure in the relegation battle a notch as they shocked Catalans Dragons in Perpignan.
Broncos remain bottom, but their ninth win of the season lifted them level on 18 points with three clubs - Hull KR and Wakefield, who meet on Sunday, and Huddersfield, who host Castleford.
Alex Walker and Kieran Dixon, who also kicked four goals, got Broncos' tries.
Brock Lamb's late drop goal clinched it on a day of just one home score.
Brayden Wiliame's early second-half try proved to be the only points for a Catalans side still bearing the scars of their last home game, the ill-tempered and costly win over last season's Challenge Cup Final victims Warrington.
Dragons were without both their suspended former Wigan duo Sam Tomkins (three games) and Michael McIlorum (two games), who were each sent off at the end of the victory over Warrington.
And their lack of a cutting edge showed when they had a man advantage following Olsi Krasniqi's 16th minute sin-binning for a dangerous tackle on Greg Bird, later yellow carded himself in the dying minutes.
Catalans spent 15 minutes camped on the London line but failed to crack the stubborn London defence.
Beaten heavily 48-8 by Leeds at Headingley last week, the Dragons would have gone sixth had they won. But, with just three games left, they are now four points behind second-placed Warrington, third-placed Wigan and fourth-placed Hull, who all stand on 30 points.
Broncos' hopes remain in their own hands as their final three games are all against relegation rivals - at home to Leeds, who are just two points above the bottom four, followed by away games at Hull KR and Wakefield.
Catalans Dragons head coach Steve McNamara:
"For a game that had so much riding on it, for the stakes to be so high, to put in a performance that is as disconnected as I've seen from a group. It is something that is obviously unacceptable. I'm just trying to work out how that performance came about.
"We had a horrible start when we kicked the ball out on the full. We gave a penalty away on tackle two and we gave an intercept away and we're 8-0 down and that sometime happens in games.
"But to then not respond to that! We had a little flurry just after half time where we looked like a team. But that was for 10 minutes. Professional sport is about being the best all of the time. We've not been that for a number of weeks now.
"If we win our next three games, we have a chance but we're not going to win our last three games playing like that. There is going to have to be a dramatic shift in our performances."
London Broncos boss Danny Ward:
"We're always confident every week that we can go out and win. We know what we're capable of. It's always nice coming over to France and getting a victory.
"It was a massive effort by the boys. It was pretty special. I said to the boys afterwards that it was one of our biggest efforts physically and mentally that I've ever been involved with as a player or a coach.
"The boys coming off the field had nothing in the tank - which is what I asked them to do. They went out and worked hard for each other. The effort was unbelievable out there.
"It wasn't always pretty, there was some scramble out there where Catalans could have scored but we just had bodies in the frame putting themselves in the right place and forcing a couple of errors."
Catalans Dragons: Gigot; Mead, Romano, Wiliame, Tierney; Bird, Langi; Bousquet, Da Costa, Kasiano, Whitley, Garcia, Casty.
Interchanges: Edwards, Simon, Albert, Maria.
Sin Bin: Bird (76).
London Broncos: Walker; Dixon, Morgan, Kear, Williams; Abdull, Lamb; Battye, Cunningham, Krasniqi, Pitts, Lovell, Yates.
Interchanges: Fozard, Gee, Hindmarsh, Armitage.
Sin Bin: Krasniqi (16).
Referee: Liam Moore