St Helens likened to NRL standard in classy compliment from rival Super League coach

After the London head coach, Mike Eccles, called Wigan and St. Helens “NRL standard” after the Broncos’ Friday night loss to the Warriors, it was a classy praise.

Wigan, the hosts, scored six consecutive tries, all of which were converted, to defeat Eccles’ team 36-0 at The Brick Community Stadium. Eccles’ team has only won one game this year since being promoted.

The Saints thrashed them 52–6 at home last Saturday, and their lone score came from a Lee Kershaw try two minutes before the finish.

Mike Eccles, the leader of the London Broncos, made a classy compliment by comparing Wigan Warriors and St Helens to the “NRL standard.”
After being promoted, the Broncos adopted a hybrid approach in which some players had full-time contracts while others were still on part-time agreements.

They appear certain to be demoted at the end of this year given their pitiful IMG score, and that probably would have happened regardless of how they performed on the field.

Even while Eccles is unwaveringly proud of his team’s efforts, he said that when they play Wigan or Saints, it’s like “David vs. Goliath.”

“What’s really hard is that those two teams are NRL teams in my opinion,” the London manager remarked.

Last year, St Helens defeated Penrith (Panthers) and St George (Illawarra Dragons). They’re at that point since they not only emerged victorious from the World Club Challenge but also triumphed over St George in their warm-up match.

“And Wigan are an NRL team as well for me, that’s the standard this year. They’re probably the biggest club in rugby really, and we’re an expansion club.

“It is really a David v Goliath situation, and that’s probably to be expected, as much as we give the message to not feel like that.

“When we were up in Super League in 2019, I thought that we were stronger then and we were already full-time, so the transition was easier and better.

“It seems like the elite teams have become more distant this time around.” Both the teams and the players are fantastic. Big and challenging middles, speed, quality, and depth—all of these are excellently covered.

“The point I’m trying to make is that because of the mismatch, it’s difficult to evaluate oneself against such teams.

“However, today’s effort was outstanding, and that’s all I could ask for.”

Extent of uphill task laid bare by Broncos boss Eccles

After London was promoted, Eccles made it clear where he stood. He was going to give opportunities to the players who had helped the team return to Super League, with very few players from the promotion-winning team from the previous season—who were mostly from the capital—losing out.

But as was already mentioned, some of them continue to play rugby league part-time because full-time is unsuitable for them for a number of reasons, including their “day” occupations.

Among them is Australian star Jarred Bassett, who has played in the Southern Conference League, League 1, Championship, and now Super League after moving to the UK and working his way up the rugby league ladder.

However, Eccles revealed the magnitude of London’s uphill task on Friday night when he emphasized Bassett’s circumstances and gave the 32-year-old praise.

“It was a crazy effort (from us), a phenomenal effort,” Eccles declared. After a five-day turnaround, we arrived here that day.

“Jarred Bassett was one of the greatest players on the pitch, in my opinion, and he went out there tonight after we had him rewire a loft in London yesterday.

“I thought he was amazing tonight. I’m proud of them for coming up here and playing the world champs on a five-day turnaround, despite his attacking and defensive efforts being equally strong.


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