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17th June 2019, 16:47 | londonbroncos

Ward praises Broncos team spirit

Ward praises Broncos team spirit

London Broncos coach Danny Ward has paid tribute to the team spirit of his bottom-of-the-table side as they prepare for Thursday’s relegation battle with fellow strugglers Hull Kingston Rovers.

The promoted Londoners have defied all expectations by being competitive on their return to Betfred Super League and back-to-back wins over leaders St Helens and fourth-placed Catalans Dragons have boosted their survival hopes.

The victories have been achieved despite major uncertainty over the make-up of Ward’s squad for 2020, with a host of out-of-contract players set to move on at the end of the season.

Two of their leading players, half-back Jordan Abdull and London-reared full-back Alex Walker, are thought to have already signed for Super League rivals for next season but Ward says there is no lack of commitment from his squad.

“It’s hard to balance that,” Ward said. “Lads might be moving on but they’re a really tight group and they’re best mates with each other.

“They live in each other’s pockets 24/7 and they work hard for each other.

“Next year is next year, that’s sport, it’s rugby, it happens every year, players moving on.

“You’ve got to play for the now and just enjoy each day as it comes. You never know when it might be your last game together.”

The Broncos, who began the season with three wins from their first seven matches, became only the second team to beat St Helens in all competitions in 2019 to further strengthen the belief among the players.

“I’ve been happy with how we’ve performed most of the year,” Ward said.

“There’s not been many games where we’ve come away and performed badly, we’ve been competing in almost every game and not been far away from results.

“So the boys know they can compete at this level and they know they can beat teams in this competition.”

London are now hoping to win three successive games in Super League for the first time since August 2012 – when winger Kieran Dixon scored tries in all three games against Salford Red Devils, Castleford Tigers and Warrington Wolves – and lift themselves off the foot of the table.

Ward says he has a couple of injury concerns ahead of the game.

“Matty Fleming came off injured at the weekend and we lost Matt Gee in the warm-up,” he said.

“We’ve got a couple of niggles, some soft tissue and joint issues which we might not risk, with it being on the 4G. It’s a pretty short turnaround.”