Heartbreaking to fall at final hurdle, says Broncos boss Ward
London head coach Danny Ward admitted his side were “absolutely devastated” after a 19-10 defeat at Wakefield condemned them to relegation from Super League.
The Broncos began the evening level on points with Hull KR, Huddersfield and Wakefield but in bottom place due to their inferior points difference.
They knew they had to win to avoid the drop but a tightly-contested first half ended 8-0 to Trinity after a 24th-minute try by Ryan Hampshire and two goals from Danny Brough.
Hampshire scored again five minutes after the restart and then Reece Lyne added a third to confirm a victory which sent the Broncos, who scored late consolations tries from Alex Walker and Brock Lamb, back to the Championship after one season in the top flight.
Ward said: “We’ve just fallen at the final hurdle and Wakefield were very good – they kicked us to death and made us come off our own line.
“It was just one game too for the boys and we’re absolutely devastated.
“But what a learning experience for us all – I think we have all got better as the weeks have gone on.
“There have been so many ups and downs and it has been an absolute roller coaster with massive performances and some not so good.
“We can be proud of how we have gone about our business and how we have improved because the majority of that side have come up from the Championship.
“They have proved they can play Super League week in and week out, but ultimately we failed in what we set out to do.
“There are loads of positives, but at the end of the day we have been relegated and it’s absolutely heartbreaking for the lads.”
A raft of London players are now expected to depart, but Ward’s opposite number Chris Chester can start planning for another year in the top flight after his side’s dominant display.
Trinity were dragged into the relegation scrap after a mid-season slump caused by a major injury crisis.
The Wakefield head coach said: “I couldn’t have asked for anymore from my players tonight, I thought they were excellent.
“That first 40 minutes was probably the best we have defended all season.
“It has certainly been the most challenging time in my coaching career, I know the players have thought that as well.
“But the way they have come out tonight and played, under that much pressure, is a credit to them.
“It makes me more determined to make sure we get pre-season right and that we are not in this situation in 12 months time.
“I am fairly confident that when we do get our best team out on the field, we will be fine.
“I am delighted. It was a massive, massive result for the club and I am pleased for everybody involved.”