London Broncos coach Andrew Henderson has admitted he’s delighted to be back at home this weekend after near enough a month on the road – but has warned his troops to “step it up” against Bradford on Sunday.
The Broncos have had three of their four games so far this season – and have won them all, with the only blot on their card so far this season the narrow home defeat to Hull KR. And Henderson admits he’s looking forward to getting his side back onto the 3G surface at Ealing against the in-form Bulls.
“At this time of year, Swinton, Dewsbury and Oldham aren’t the best pitches to be playing on – especially with the brand of football we want to play,” he told TotalRL.
“It’s been a good test though and it’s challenged us in lots of different ways. It’s tested our will to win and our resolve and I’ve been delighted with that. There’s a lot of positives but we’ll need to get better in some areas of our game. To be back at home is great though – and for our fans to see some rugby league for a change, that’ll be great for them.”
Henderson admits he’s expecting a stern challenge from the Bulls – who have won back-to-back games heading into the fixture. And the Broncos coach admits the new-look Bradford remind him of the squad he inherited at London two season ago.
“They remind me where I was two years ago,” he said. “I look at their squad and see a sprinkling of high-quality Super League players and some good exciting kids coming through.
“They’ll be a dangerous animal to face and this is the time for us to step it up now. We’ve had some ugly wins but heading out of this first month, it’s time for us to turn it up a notch.”
The game between the two sides relegated out of Super League at the end of 2014 sees a number of familiar faces on both sides. Bradford have Oscar Thomas, Joe Keyes, Iliess Macani and Jon Magrin returning to London while Jarrod Sammut, Adrian Purtell and Jay Pitts will be facing the Bulls.
And Henderson picked out Sammut for praise, admitting he’s been delighted with the maverick Maltese half-back thus far since arriving from Workington.
“I’ve been really pleased with Jarrod,” he said.
“I know some people may have been apprehensive because I’ve heard people say he’s not a team player – but I beg to differ. He’s come in and trained great; he’s fit, strong and fast. He adds a different dimension to us both in attack and defence.
“He knew it was his last chance to go full-time and make a statement about himself – and I think he’s got another four or five years in him and I hope he can continue this great form he’s been in.
“It’s a important fixture for both teams. For us it’s about maintaining our position in the top four and it should be a really exciting game.
“I’m looking forward to some of our old London boys coming back, they’ll get a great reception but this is about us and us turning it up a notch on Sunday.”