London 42-24 Wakefield: Two-try prop Eddie Battye proves unlikely hero as Broncos win on Super League returnadministrator
South Yorkshire farmer Eddie Battye proved the unlikely hero as London Broncos produced a head-turning upset on their Super League return.
Prop Battye – shown demolishing a pre-packed sandwich in the club social media gif when he scores – crashed over for two tries in a huge stint in the middle of the field.
Stand-off Jordan Abdull, skipper Jay Pitts and Million Pound Game hero Alex Walker were also key contributors in an outstanding performance by a team tipped almost universally to finish bottom this season.
Coach Danny Ward said: “I knew what they were capable of, but I think this will give the boys real belief as well.
“They were a bit nervy before and I think you could sense that in the warm-up – I think it might just have dawned on them that they were back in Super League and coming up against quality players.
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“You could feel a bit of nervous tension, but they showed that they can compete, play some good football and score some points in this league.”
Ward also hailed fellow front rower Battye’s performance, and particularly the tries that have already excluded him from the end of season “nudie run”.
Ward smiled: “Nobody wants to see Eddie Battye naked – this is massive for rugby league.”
Battye was one of the 12 Broncos in the line-up that Ward kept faith with from their promotion campaign, as they returned to Super League for the first time since 2014.
But London’s fairytale start to life back at the top table look long odds when trailed 18-6, with Wakefield notching three worryingly easy tries to Craig Kopczak, Ryan Hampshire and Jacob Miller.
Matt Fleming had scored the Broncos’ response, before third quarter tries to Rhys Williams, Kieran Dixon, Battye and Matty Fozard put the home side 26-18 up at the break.
Kyle Wood’s response briefly hinted at a Wakefield comeback, before further tries to Williams, Battye and Elliot Kear sealed a memorable home win.
Trinity finished with 12 men after Danny Brough was sin binned for dissent, and coach Chris Chester admitted: “We just looked lost today.
“I kind of got a sense during the week that there was a bit of a relaxed attitude – maybe we’re not as good a team as everyone’s tipping us to be.
“But London are a good side – their performance was a lot better than ours and they’ll cause a few more upsets down here.”