Super League: London Broncos come back from 30-8 down to beat Leeds Rhinos
Last Updated: 17/08/14 5:55pm
Joe Keyes ran in a hat-trick as the London Broncos earned a first win of the Super League campaign at the 24th time of asking with a stunning 40-36 victory over the Leeds Rhinos.
Keyes struck twice in the last 10 minutes as the Londoners staged a stirring comeback to erase a 30-8 deficit.
For an under-strength Rhinos it was a setback ahead of their Tetley's Challenge Cup final date next weekend, missing the chance to claim second spot in the process.
For the Broncos, there was a first start of the campaign for winger Kieran Dixon, 10 months on from knee surgery, with Thomas Minns stepping aside.
The visitors, with one eye on next weekend's Wembley showpiece, made nine changes from their semi-final defeat of Warrington, including giving Super League debuts to Ben White, Ashley Handley and Ashton Golding.
The Rhinos were fastest out of the blocks, Zak Hardaker's long pass cutting out the London defence and allowing Kallum Watkins to romp home inside two minutes.
Just four minutes later they had a second score, Hardaker again the provider, keeping the ball alive for Josh Walters to crash over.
The Broncos were offering precious little in attack, but Leeds had no such worries, Liam Sutcliffe running in a third try on 12 minutes after strong work from Watkins.
The Londoners finally got themselves on the board midway through the half, neat handling from Keyes and Nesi Mataitonga putting Jordan Atkins in at the corner.
And the Broncos then moved within a score two minutes later, a superb offload from Atkins allowing Keyes to creep in at the corner.
Suddenly the game was a real contest, Dixon close to levelling matters moments later when he attempted to wriggle over.
But Leeds steadied the ship and regained control on the half-hour mark, Mitch Achurch charging over after a flowing move.
There was still time for the porous London defence to concede a further try before the interval, Hardaker racing over after bouncing off a series of tackles.
It was more of the same after the break, Paul Aiton's break giving Sutcliffe a clear run to the line to open up a 30-8 Rhinos lead on 44 minutes.
Dixon did give London fans a glimpse of just what they have missed this season when he raced in at the corner after an excellent Mataitonga offload.
And, just as in the first half, the Broncos struck again quickly, Mike McMeeken easing over from a Scott Moore pass to reduce the arrears to 30-20.
But, also as in the first half, Leeds righted their wrongs almost instantly, Achurch muscling over for his second score on 55 minutes.
The tries kept coming, London claiming their fifth with 20 minutes to play when Moore rounded off excellent work from McMeeken and Ben Farrar.
And a grandstand finish was on the cards when Keyes burrowed over for his second try on 70 minutes, cutting the deficit to 36-32.
The comeback was complete when Keyes showed great footwork to race over three minutes later, Josh Drinkwater booting a late penalty to seal victory.
First Utility Super League
Tue 30th Jun
Hull K R34 - 28Salford Red Devils
Wed 1st Jul
Wakefield Wildcats26 - 16Hull FC
Thu 2nd Jul
Warrington Wolves17 - 6Wigan Warriors
Fri 3rd Jul
Leeds Rhinos46 - 18St Helens
Sun 5th Jul
Huddersfield Giants32 - 14Hull K R
Hull FC31 - 24Wakefield Wildcats
Salford Red Devils18 - 14Catalans Dragons
Castleford Tigers34 - 20Widnes Vikings
Thu 9th Jul
Wigan WarriorsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 10th Jul
St HelensvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 12th Jul
Hull FC0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Hull K R
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 16th Jul
Warrington WolvesvsSt Helens
Fri 17th Jul
Hull K RvsHull FC
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 18th Jul
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 19th Jul
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 23rd Jul
Hull FCvsWigan Warriors
Fri 24th Jul
St Helens0 - 0Hull K R
Sun 26th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Super League 2014, Round 24
Who has kicked the most goals this season? Which player is penalised the most? Find out here...
Hull FC boss Lee Radford conceded his side's playoff hopes had been extinguished after they lost 34-28 at Bradford.
Joe Grima has admitted that he was not expecting London to come back and win after going 22 points behind against Leeds.
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- Giants v Vikings: Teams
- Bulls v Hull FC: Teams
- Broncos v Rhinos: Teams
- Chester: We were better team
- Wigan snatch point at Hull KR
- Red Devils v Dragons: Teams
- Wolves v Tigers: Teams
- Saints v Wildcats: Teams
- Hull KR v Warriors: Teams