Rugby League World – Retchless remembers Broncos’ semi-final triumph

Former London Broncos forward Steele Retchless relived some of the top moment of his career, in a catch-up interview with Rugby League World magazine.

Retchless was named in the 1998 Super League Dream Team, a year before scoring the decisive try in the club’s Challenge Cup semi-final victory over Castleford Tigers, to book their place in the final at Wembley Stadium.

London would go on to lose 52-16 in the final to Leeds Rhinos, which still remains the highest points conceded in a cup final, but the former Bronco still holds that year in high regard.

“It seems like yesterday,” he said in the interview. “It was the highlight of my career and the game to remember for me was the semi-final. All the hype that went with the final was immense but the result was definitely one to forget; it was still massive to get there.

“When I lived in Australia, before I came over, I used to get up and watch the Challenge Cup finals ever since I was a young fella. To make it in just my second year playing was fantastic. There’s a lot of very good players from both sides of the world who’ve never made one, so I feel blessed to have done that.

“I’m always asked what the highlights of my career are and that one was definitely it, to score the try to put us into the final was something I’ll always cherish. I’ve been ribbed on social media recently about Jonathan Davies’ comment in the commentary for the try about me having too much speed. But people forget I was always quick over the first two metres!”

Retchless also earned recognition for his efforts during a regular season game against Bradford Bulls, where he broke the Super League record for the number of tackles in a game with 66.

“In the early days of Super League, we played Bradford on the road in Edinburgh,” he recalled.

“To be honest, I didn’t even realise what I’d done until the next day. We flew back from Scotland to Portsmouth to the navy base for a week of training there. Out of the blue, a guy came up to me there and said ‘do you know you’ve made 66 tackles in that game?’ I didn’t know. I knew I was gone at the end of it because it took me half an hour to recover. I was actually feeling a little bit ill beforehand, as it happens. That certainly took it out of me.”