Wales Dragonhearts, preparing for their two-test tour to Serbia, fell to a strong London and South East side 32-24 in North London.
The Dragonhearts, who were never ahead in the game, were caught up in heavy traffic en route to London on Saturday and it looked like these problems had affected them early on as they were quickly 12-0 down.
Bryon Creighton and Teej Farrell got the early London tries with Vince Spurr converting both.
However the Welsh side soon fought back. Mark Jones was first over the line with Mike Hurley unable to convert. Ben Stelmeszek scored a second Welsh try, with Hurley converting to bring the score back to 12-10.
A second Farrell try, this one unconverted, extended London’s lead but a Henri Roberts try, again with a conversion missed, brought the score back to 16-14, three tries each, at the break.
But in the second half, the home side outscored the Welsh by three tries to two and deserved their win.
Again London scored two early tries with Liam Duffy and Jacobe Dowell crossing. Both scores came from good lead-up play by Spurr, Todd Peut and Creighton. Spurr converting both of these tries to put the score onto 28-14.
Roberts got his second to put the Dragonhearts back in it, before a sixth London try, this one by Peut addressed the balance.
But the Welsh side didn’t give up. Alfie Matthias scored a late consolation try that Hurley converted.
Despite the defeat, the Dragonhearts’ coaches were not despondent.
Assistant coach James Allen said: “We have a lot to work on before we face Serbia on Wednesday, but we’ve achieved a lot in a limited time. We will again have a concentrated time to rectify the faults we dictated today.”
Fellow assistant coach Mark Robinson added: “We were impressed with the attitude and enthusiasm of the players. This is why I love coaching in Wales.
London coach Kim Parkinson said: “Today was a big step for London Rugby League, beating a strong and determined Dragonhearts side. This was a strong end to another successful representative campaign.”
Wales Dragonhearts take on Serbia this Wednesday at FK Heroj Polet Stadium and three days later at the NC Makiš Stadium, both venues being in Belgrade.
LONDON AND SOUTH EAST
1 Jacobe Dowell
2 Mitchell Groth
3 Liam Duffy
4 Lennon Allen-Bartlett
5 Teej Farell
6 Vince Spurr
7 Mac Daly
8 Sam Broomhall
9 Byron Creighton
10 Mike Chivers
11 Todd Peut
12 Kelvin Emmerson
13 Adam Cook
14 Luke Donovan
15 Eric Sims
16 BJ Dean
17 Ade Aderiye
18 Christian Gale
19 Ricc Caligiuri
20 Judd Greenhalgh
21 Michael Greenhalgh
Tries: Creighton (5), Farrell (11, 31), Duffy (42), Dowell (48), Peut (72)
Goals: Spurr 4/6
1 Connah Harding (North Wales Crusaders A / North Wales Origin)
2 Sam Pridgeon (Llanelli Knights / Premier League West)
3 Adam Watton (Valley Cougars / Premier League East)
4 Ben Jones (Valley Cougars / Premier League West)
5 Brett Thomas (Torfaen Tigers / Premier League East)
6 Shane Lee (Valley Cougars / Premier League West)
7 Ryan Griffiths (Ince Rose Bridge / North Wales Origin)
8 Gethin King (Valley Cougars / Premier League East)
9 Corey Phillips (Rhondda Outlaws / Premier League East)
10 Mark Jones (Rhondda Outlaws / Premier League West)
11 Mike Hurley (Valley Cougars / Premier League East)
12 Darrell Moyle (Torfaen Tigers / Premier League East)
13 Ben Stelmaszek (Thatto Heath Crusaders / North Wales Origin)
14 Matt Williams (Torfaen Tigers / Premier League East)
15 Morgan Knight (Torfaen Tigers / Premier League East)
16 Max Hendy (Rhondda Outlaws / Premier League West)
17 Dafydd Jones (North Wales Crusaders A / North Wales Origin)
18 Alfie Matthias (North Wales Crusaders A / North Wales Origin)
19 Henri Roberts (North Wales Crusaders A / North Wales Origin)
20 Jonny Rees (Llanelli Knights / Premier League West)
21 Ieuan Griffiths (Rhondda Outlaws / Premier League West)
Tries: Jones (20), Stelmeszek (24), Roberts (39, 60), Matthias (79)
Goals: Hurley 2/5