Cents lose final away game of the season
- Credit: Archant
CENTURIONS’ are already looking ahead to a rebuilding year next season after the final away game ended in defeat.
Unavailability, once again, ravaged the squad and, despite a valiant effort from the players, Leicester Storm ran out winners on Saturday to leave Cents rooted to the foot of the table.
After the game Cents manager Tony Bottomley commented “We have lost our captain to a high [tackle in the face] and he will be out for next week. We have quite a few players in the dressing rooms with black eyes and bloody noses so to say I am frustrated about this game would be an understatement, but the boys did us proud out there today.
“We came with an under strength team and they never gave in, they did us proud. However, this is the worst season we have ever had since we were formed in 1996.
“We have one home game left next Saturday, and then we must sit down and look at rebuilding for next year. We have a great stadium and clubhouse, now we must work on producing better results on the pitch for next season.”
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In what has become a habit this season, Cents took a long time to settle down into the game and the Storm ran in two quick tries in the first seven minutes.
St Albans found a footing in the game and a quick penalty saw Ryan Shorter race in at the corner.
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The game began to get rougher and on the 20-minute mark Cents’ captain Rob Holbrook received a high shot to the face, but the referee said he saw nothing wrong with the tackle and gave a scrum against Holbrook for dropping the ball in the tackle.
Holbrook was later taken to hospital where it was found his jaw was broken in two places and he has been kept in pending an operation to repair it. With the ball in Leicester’s possession, they drove down the field and scored.
With 10 minutes left of the first half, Joe Shaw went on the blind side of the scrum and crashed over for a converted try, but Cents’ lost focus allowing Storm to run in two more tries before the break.
After the interval Cents produced some of their best rugby of the season. Shaw was the first to profit, completing his hat-trick, before Shorter seemingly added his second try only for the touch judge to disallow it.
It proved to be the turning points as St Albans heads dropped and Storm capitalised to run up the score.
The Centurions are at home for their last game of the season on Saturday August 17 when they take on second place team Bristol Sonics. Kick-off is at 2.30pm at their Toulmin Drive ground.