Cents silence Roosters in nine-try win

Miles Costello

Miles Costello - Credit: Archant

The most assured team performance of the season so far underlined the turnaround in the fortunes of St Albans Centurions.

The inconsistency and sloppiness that had marked earlier performances this year were a distant memory as a virtually error-free show toppled the East League leaders 52-32 in their own backyard.

From the first whistle, Cents tore into St Ives. In tackle after crunching tackle, the Roosters were driven backwards, given no room to manoeuvre and forced into errors. Offensively, St Albans were equally dominant, seeing out their sets, making hard yards and breaking through.

This ruthless efficiency was typified by Miles Costello’s breath-taking charge to breach the home team’s formidable defensive line and register the game’s first try.

A try from St Ives against the run-of-play, merely inspired the visitors to raise their game even higher and a score apiece from Nick Woolley and Gareth Walters, plus two from Tim Rangihuna, contributed to a dominant half-time lead of 30-14.

Their pride clearly stung, the Roosters came out fighting, literally, and Rangihuna was soon sin-binned for diving in to help out a team-mate. If the home team’s tactics were to put Cents off their stride, it backfired as first Scott Cluelow and then Chris Davies crossed the line.

Despite the gulf in class, when Roosters scored again, there was a sense that the momentum might be about to shift. Josh Lawrence had other ideas.

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Where others might have seen good defensive cover in front of them, 30 metres out, he just saw another wall to break through. Seconds later, whilst two home forwards were still picking themselves up off the ground, Lawrence was calmly placing the ball down over the line.

The scoring for St Albans ended as it started with another phenomenal solo effort from Costello and a Walters’ conversion, his eighth of the match. A late flurry of home tries added some respectability for St Ives, with a scoreline of 52-32.