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Grima wants to emulate Dragons

14th of May 2014
Grima wants to emulate Dragons

New London Broncos coach Joe Grima admits he has a plan B in the event of the club being relegated from First Utility Super League.

New London Broncos coach Joe Grima admits he has a plan B in the event of the club being relegated from First Utility Super League this year but insists they can still avoid the drop.

The Londoners have never been out of the top flight since the switch to summer in 1996 but they are bottom of the table after losing all 12 matches so far.

However, Grima, whose side went down 30-16 at home to Huddersfield Giants in his first game, has spotted signs of a recovery and believes Saturday's opponents in the first match of the Magic Weekend at Manchester's Etihad Stadium will show them the way forward.

Catalan Dragons lost their first five matches before going on to win five of their next six to pull well clear of the relegation zone.

"No-one likes the 'R' word but it is what it is and we are where we are," said the former Parramatta Eels player.

"We're not giving up at any stage, however. We've still got more than 50 per cent of the games left and if we win one, who knows, we may win two or three and I really believe we can do what the Catalans have done.

"I really think that anyone who is not in the top eight has an issue of being one of the two teams that are relegated.

"Last weekend's performance showed things are turning and they have been turning for three or four weeks. We're actually making inroads and a lot of progress at training and it's transforming to the footie field.

"We're looking forward to Saturday. We've got 11 guys in the 17 that have never participated in a Magic Weekend and the excitement is evident at training."

Grima, who was promoted to head coach just two and a half months after arriving in England to become Tony Rea's assistant, acknowledges he has been thrown in at the deep end for his first senior coaching role but insists he came to Super League with his eyes wide open.

Rea had to virtually rebuild the squad after the club almost went out of business following their departure from the Twickenham Stoop at the end of last season.

The former player, chief executive and head coach says the club "died five times" before being given the kiss of life through a move to Barnet but he was left with just eight players following the break-up of the 2013 squad and most of those were youngsters.

Rea eventually assembled a 25-strong squad he believed would be competitive at some stage during the season and identified Grima as the man to finish the job in 2015.

Grima, who sacrificed the year left on his contract with St George Illawarra Dragons to try his hand in Super League, found himself fast-tracked into the hot seat when London owner David Hughes ran out of patience earlier this month and he is determined to make the most of his unexpected chance.

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