Super League: London Broncos 42-24 Wakefield Trinity on promoted side's return to top flight
|Betfred Super League|
|London Broncos (26) 42|
|Tries: Fleming, Williams 2, Dixon, Battye 2, Fozard, Kear Goals: Abdull, Dixon 4|
|Wakefield Trinity (18) 24|
|Tries: Kopczak, Hampshire, Miller, Wood Goals: Brough 4|
London Broncos marked their return to Super League after a five-year absence with a memorable win over Wakefield.
Trinity seemed in control as tries from Craig Kopczak, Ryan Hampshire and Jacob Miller gave them an early 18-6 lead.
But Broncos hit back to lead 26-18 at the break as Rhys Williams, Kieran Dixon, Eddie Battye and Matty Fozard added to Matty Fleming's earlier score.
Kyle Wood got Wakefield back in it but Williams and Battye crossed again before Elliot Kear sealed victory.
Broncos, who had not played in Super League since 2014, earned their place back in the top flight in dramatic fashion in October when they won 4-2 at the much-fancied Toronto Wolfpack in the Million Pound Game.
The newly-promoted side went into the new campaign as favourites to go back down to the Championship but Broncos owner David Hughes told the BBC Rugby League podcast before the season began that he did not believe they would be relegated.
Facing a Wakefield side that finished fifth in Super League last term and which has been bolstered by the arrivals of experienced prop Kopczak and half-back Danny Brough appeared on paper to be a tough initial assignment.
That certainly seemed to be the case when Kopczak and Hampshire both scored within the opening eight minutes.
But even though Miller added a third Trinity try in response to Fleming's score, the Broncos centre's effort gave the Ealing-based side confidence, which only grew as they ran in four more unanswered tries before the break.
Wakefield got back to within two points of their hosts when Wood went over for the first points of the second half, but London replied with three more unanswered scores, Kear adding their last with Trinity down to 12 men after Brough had been sent to the sin-bin for dissent.
London head coach Danny Ward: "I already knew what they were capable of and I think it will give the boys real belief as well.
"They were probably were a little bit nervy going into it and I did get that sense in warm-up that it might have just dawned on them that they were in the Super League now and coming up against some quality players.
"It finally sunk in and you could feel the nervous tension there from a few of them.
"It's going to give us confidence that they can compete, play some good football, score some points and hopefully we can kick on from this."
Wakefield head coach Chris Chester: "Without taking too much credit away from London, we killed ourselves today with a lack of respect for the ball.
"I'm extremely disappointed. It's probably the worst performance since I've been involved here.
"We hurt ourselves today. Defensively we were all over the shop, we have never been so nervous.
"Maybe we are not as good a team as everyone is tipping us to be."
London Broncos: Walker; Dixon, Fleming, Kear, Williams; Abdull, Cunningham; Richards, Fozard, Mason, Pitts, Gee, Yates.
Interchanges: Battye, Lovell, Ioane, Pelissier.
Wakefield Trinity: Hampshire; Jones-Bishop, Lyne, Tupou, Johnstone; Miller, Brough; Arona, Randell, Kopczak, Ashurst, Batchelor, King.
Interchanges: Crowther, England, Wood, Fifita.
Referee: Tom Grant (RFL)