Magic Weekend: London Broncos boss Joe Grima defends Josh Drinkwater
Last Updated: 17/05/14 4:49pm
Josh Drinkwater: Missed late conversion
Joe Grima absolved Josh Drinkwater of blame after London's search for a first point in 2014 came agonisingly close to ending.
The Broncos have lurched from beating to beating this season, with the odd promising performance here and there, and they looked like making good on one of those in the opening clash of the Magic Weekend.
When Drinkwater skipped over the line with seven minutes left it brought them back to 24-22. The scrum-half was unable to tag a fourth conversion of the game, though, missing from just to the right of the posts.
"We were not after a draw, we were after a win," Grima said.
"Drinky is devastated but he really stepped up. That missed kick will be playing on his mind but I don't have to speak to him about it."
Grima on Drinkwater
"If Josh kicks that goal we still don't win, so it doesn't matter. Drinky is devastated but he really stepped up. That missed kick will be playing on his mind but I don't have to speak to him about it.
"We have a good understanding, I shook his hand and told him that it was his best game for us. If he continues to step up he will be a very dominant half in this competition."
Relegation looks almost a certainty for the capital club as the season approaches its halfway point, but Grima is not throwing in the towel just yet and is giving his players simple instructions.
"I'm very proud of the players and I have thanked them for their courage," the Australian added.
"I told them if we continue to train hard, run harder, tackle harder and compete harder, we will change our own luck."
Victorious coach Laurent Frayssinous admitted his side had been fortunate to come out of the clash unscathed.
"We have been lucky because London did not convert the goal to their last try," he said.
"I am not happy with the performance but I am happy with the two points. We now need to move on. I said to the players 'well done, we came to win the two points, we have had a bit of luck but we have done it'.
"My second point was the performance. It is always hard when you play an opposition with no points because you think it can be easy and take shortcuts. There are no easy games in Super League."
Two tries from English second row Elliott Whitehead helped get the Dragons over the line, with the former Bradford man a stand-out throughout the afternoon.
England coach Steve McNamara has several options in the pack but Frayssinous feels Whitehead should be in the national squad for the end-of-season Four Nations.
"Definitely," he said. "England have a lot of good players and better players than him, but he should be in the squad for the Four Nations, definitely."