Club Finder

Find Your Nearest Rugby League Club

England ISC

http://www.rugbyleagueonline.co.uk/

Broncos set for Barnet debut

21st of February 2014
Broncos set for Barnet debut

London Broncos start their new life in Barnet on Saturday afternoon with the visit of star-studded Salford Red Devils.

London Broncos start their new life in Barnet on Saturday afternoon with the visit of star-studded Salford Red Devils.


The Hive is the Londoners’ eighth ‘permanent’ home since beginning life at Craven Cottage in 1980 and moving to Crystal Palace, Chiswick Polytechnic, Barnet Coptall, The Valley, Griffin Park and the Stoop as well as countless other stopping-off points during their nomadic existence.


“We’re pleased to be able to play at our new home,” said Broncos head coach Tony Rea, whose squad train at Barnet’s old ground Underhill but have held a couple of sessions at The Hive this week.


“It’s a wonderful facility. I think we will grow into it. It’s the first home game and it’s going to be special.


“We've had a good look at Salford and been very impressed with their start to the season. They're a side that look really capable and we are aware that they are strong."


Rea's new-look team, virtually rebuilt since the club left the Stoop at the end of last season, made the worst possible start to the First Utility Super League season with a 64-10 hammering at Widnes Vikings but Rea is prepared to give them a chance to redeem themselves.


He has called up Jon Wallace, a 19-year-old forward who was born in Malta but came through the Broncos Academy, but is set to stick with the team that conceded 11 tries to the Vikings.


"Everybody has an opportunity to redeem themselves on our home turf," Rea said. "We could have made a couple of changes but, as a group of people, we need to trust ourselves.


"Obviously we do have areas to work on but, rather than change people around, we need to change the way we do things. That's the challenge. We have to change and be better."


For the second successive week Salford will go into the game as clear favourites and coach Brian Noble admits that is bringing added pressures for last year's transformed wooden spoonists.


The newly-named Red Devils raced into an 18-0 half-time lead against Wakefield in their opening game at Barton but in the end were left hanging on for victory.


"There are different expectancy levels and that creates pressure, as we saw on Sunday," Noble said.


"That little bit of anxiety crept into our game and some people didn't react in the right way. We need to react better when we find ourselves in those situations."


Salford's strength in depth is already being tested, with three of their 14 new signings, Rangi Chase, Junior Sa'u and Tony Puletua, all ruled out and two other unnamed players facing late fitness tests after being hurt in the opening fixture.


That will pave the way for the return of three of the survivors from 2013, Theo Fages, former skipper Martin Gleeson and Matty Ashurst, while former New Zealand Warriors forward Steve Rapira will make his Super League debut after completing his rehabilitation from knee surgery.


"We've lost three and we've a couple that are 50-50, but it's testing us in the right way," Noble said..


"We should have Martin Gleeson back which will be good for us and Theo Fages was one our players of the year last year so I have no worries there. I'm confident we will be fine."


After attracting their best Super League attendance of over 7,000 for their opening game, Salford are taking a healthy following to the capital and they will be expecting their team to make it two wins from two going into next Thursday's attractive match against St Helens.


Noble added: "Tony has kept faith with his team and they will be very determined to make an impression in their first home game at their new home so it's up to us to match their enthusiasm."


The Hive is the Londoners’ eighth ‘permanent’ home since beginning life at Craven Cottage in 1980 and moving to Crystal Palace, Chiswick Polytechnic, Barnet Coptall, The Valley, Griffin Park and the Stoop as well as countless other stopping-off points during their nomadic existence.


“We’re pleased to be able to play at our new home,” said Broncos head coach Tony Rea, whose squad train at Barnet’s old ground Underhill but have held a couple of sessions at The Hive this week.


“It’s a wonderful facility. I think we will grow into it. It’s the first home game and it’s going to be special.


“We've had a good look at Salford and been very impressed with their start to the season. They're a side that look really capable and we are aware that they are strong."


Rea's new-look team, virtually rebuilt since the club left the Stoop at the end of last season, made the worst possible start to the First Utility Super League season with a 64-10 hammering at Widnes Vikings but Rea is prepared to give them a chance to redeem themselves.


He has called up Jon Wallace, a 19-year-old forward who was born in Malta but came through the Broncos Academy, but is set to stick with the team that conceded 11 tries to the Vikings.


"Everybody has an opportunity to redeem themselves on our home turf," Rea said. "We could have made a couple of changes but, as a group of people, we need to trust ourselves.


"Obviously we do have areas to work on but, rather than change people around, we need to change the way we do things. That's the challenge. We have to change and be better."


For the second successive week Salford will go into the game as clear favourites and coach Brian Noble admits that is bringing added pressures for last year's transformed wooden spoonists.


The newly-named Red Devils raced into an 18-0 half-time lead against Wakefield in their opening game at Barton but in the end were left hanging on for victory.


"There are different expectancy levels and that creates pressure, as we saw on Sunday," Noble said.


"That little bit of anxiety crept into our game and some people didn't react in the right way. We need to react better when we find ourselves in those situations."


Salford's strength in depth is already being tested, with three of their 14 new signings, Rangi Chase, Junior Sa'u and Tony Puletua, all ruled out and two other unnamed players facing late fitness tests after being hurt in the opening fixture.


That will pave the way for the return of three of the survivors from 2013, Theo Fages, former skipper Martin Gleeson and Matty Ashurst, while former New Zealand Warriors forward Steve Rapira will make his Super League debut after completing his rehabilitation from knee surgery.


"We've lost three and we've a couple that are 50-50, but it's testing us in the right way," Noble said..


"We should have Martin Gleeson back which will be good for us and Theo Fages was one our players of the year last year so I have no worries there. I'm confident we will be fine."


After attracting their best Super League attendance of over 7,000 for their opening game, Salford are taking a healthy following to the capital and they will be expecting their team to make it two wins from two going into next Thursday's attractive match against St Helens.


Noble added: "Tony has kept faith with his team and they will be very determined to make an impression in their first home game at their new home so it's up to us to match their enthusiasm."

Related Video

video