ST ALBANS Centurions travelled north to play the Nottingham Outlaws on Saturday, and as their opponents’ name suggests, they came back feeling they had been robbed of yet another victory.

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The Hertfordshire outfit suffered a 30-22 defeat, of which team manager Tony Bottomley said: “This is becoming a habit.

“Although we got a bonus point out of this game, it should have been three points.

“Once again we let our concentration lapse, and once again we were punished when we did.

“We were the better team for most of the game, but unfortunately we didn’t build on the Outlaws’ mistakes, but they pounced on ours.”

There was a very strong wind blowing down the pitch and Cents won the toss and played with it in the first half.

The St Albans team were soon on the scoreboard when from the kick-off the Outlaws knocked on, and from the resultant scrum, Cents drove the ball into the Outlaws 10 metre area.

Dylan Rampling was stopped under the posts and quick hands down line and a flick pass by Mike Benson sent fullback Gareth Waters over for a try, converted by Ben Moore.

Cents were 6-0 up after two minutes, they used the wind to their advantage and five minutes later were further in the lead when after four good drives by the forwards, switching the ball back from right to left, standoff Ben Moore, returning from injury, was in for another try.

He converted his own try and it was 12-0 after six minutes.

The Outlaws showed why they are currently third in the league when they came back at the Cents and they ran in two tries in five minutes.

Their first was an intercept when Cents full back Gareth Waters tried to throw a long pass out wide and their winger ran 60 metres to score.

Their second came after the Cents defence failed to use the ‘sliding defence’ method and the Nottingham side pulled them wide to score.

On 20 minutes, Cents sub Joe Shaw, with his first touch of the ball, crashed over to score following Ben Moore’s kick through and Ben Moore converted.

Just as the half was coming to an end, the visitors seemed to ease off and this allowed the home side to get two more tries in the last few minutes.

At the start of the second half the Outlaws increased their lead when they broke the Cents defence and players took a series of dummies which left the centre and winger trying to stop four Outlaw players from scoring in the corner.

The game then settled down to good end to end rugby, and whilst the Cents dominated most of the game, they unable to score those vital tries.

With 15 minutes left the Outlaws increased their lead with good forward drives to the Cents line.

On the fourth play the hooker dived over from acting half when the Cents markers were not set.

Even with the score at 30-18 St Albans kept the pressure on the hosts, and with two minutes left the Outlaws were penalised twice which gave the Cents good ground into the Outlaws 20-metre area.

Two more powerful drives by the forwards and a wide pass out wide sent winger Brad Webber in for a try in the corner.

With a final score of 30-22, the Cents were left ruing their mistakes that let the outlaws win this game.

On Saturday, after four weeks of away games, the Centurions return to their home pitch at Toulmin Drive, St Albans, to take on fellow new boys Bristol Sonics.

Kick-off is at 2.30pm.

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