Broncos ready for Wolves battle
London Broncos will have the chance to erase a black mark in the club's history when they host Warrington Wolves in the First Utility Super League clash at The Hive on Sunday.
The Broncos players might well still be haunted by their record 82-10 mauling by the Wolves at Gillingham last June if those involved in that debacle were still around, but virtually all of them were part of the mass exodus at the end of the season.
Olsi Krasniqi, London's Albania-born prop, is the only player likely to get the chance to avenge that humiliation. Mike Bishay and Kieran Dixon also played in that match but they are both injured.
"I don't think it's relevant to this group," said Broncos coach Tony Rea, who is confident his new-look side are starting to gel.
Rea introduced four more players in last week's 25-12 defeat at Bradford Bulls after no fewer than nine made their debuts in the opening match at Widnes Vikings.
The Broncos are looking for their first win at the fourth attempt but the long-serving Rea knows it will take time and patience for his re-built side to grow into their new surroundings.
The coach says he saw "tremendous signs" at Bradford, especially from his new Australian half-back pairing of Ben Farrar and Josh Drinkwater, who had been in the country less than a week.
"We had injuries so the team got juggled around pretty quick," Rea said. "We had to muddle through. We had a really disjointed team in terms of finding some fluency.
"But what we did have was energy and resilience. I'm really happy with the courage and determination shown and that will take us a long way.
"We've had a game with our halves now and we get another opportunity to play with them so we'll be a week smarter there.
"It's a performance business and we're looking at playing better all the time."
London are still waiting for two of their overseas players, outside back Denny Solomona and forward Atelea Vea, to get their visas and they lost full-back Nesiasi Maitatonga and centre James Duckworth with hamstring injuries in the defeat by the Bulls.
Rea is still weighing up his options over the full-back role against the Wolves.
"Farrar has played a bit there and Iliess Makani is an option," he said. "He's been playing particularly well with the (London) Skolars."
Warrington coach Tony Smith, who celebrates five years in the job this weekend, admits it has not been easy to do his homework on the opposition.
"They are a bit of an unknown quantity to some degree," Smith said. "They haven't had much time to put a squad together but they've managed to do that and to come up with a credible performance on the weekend.
"They were certainly in a position where they pushed the Bradford Bulls and played quite well. They were very spirited.
"They're probably in a position where they've got nothing to lose and everything to gain so they are going to be a difficult team for us and a challenging team.
"A new ground will be a challenge in itself."
The Wolves, who were pre-season title favourites, began with back-to-back defeats but got off the mark against Hull FC last Sunday and Rea is expecting another stiff test.
"Warrington are doing everything you should do in a footie game to play well," he said. "People's expectations of them are probably a bit over the top but they're playing fine. They won't be under-estimated."