Cents' unbeaten run comes to an end
RLC Southern Premiership London Storm 40 St Albans Centurions 10 THE Cents winning run dating back to May 23 came to an end in Croydon on Saturday at the hands of the unbeaten league leaders, South London Storm. Coach Shane Rampling took a Centurions s
RLC Southern Premiership
London Storm 40
St Albans Centurions 10
THE Cents winning run dating back to May 23 came to an end in Croydon on Saturday at the hands of the unbeaten league leaders, South London Storm.
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Coach Shane Rampling took a Centurions squad that was without four players on international duty with the England Lionhearts, and a further five first team regulars missing due to injuries, but the team gave an excellent account of themselves.
Guided on by the older heads the youngsters didn't take a backwards step in the face of a very experienced and larger Storm side.
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The Cents were able to hold the Storm in their own half early on with some good hits from Roy Dube and David Coyle.
A penalty to the Storm allowed them to establish good field position and despite strong tackling by Joe Shaw, Johnno Elvin and Shane Rampling, they were able to force their way over for the opening score. Another penalty to the Storm shortly after the kick off again gave them a chance to go over for a soft try to make the score 8-0.
The Cents kept going and strong runs from Brett Welsh and Chris True put them in good field position. Big hits on defence caused the Storm to drop the ball and, from the resultant scrum, Rampling made a sublime break only to be halted just short of the line.
Another penalty gave the Storm the chance to relieve the pressure and they showed good skill to go over for a try to make the score 12-0. The introduction of Muphamanga and Osibodu gave the Cents impetus and they were rewarded with True going over for a try to make it 12-4. A couple of soft penalties when the Cents had the Storm hemmed in their own 20 put the Cents under pressure and the Storm were able to score a crucial converted try on half time to make score 20-4. The second half continued in much the same vein as the first half, with some excellent rugby punctuated by unenforced errors. The Cents never gave up and excellent runs by youngsters Leahy and Gow gave the depleted Cents team some hope. A fine charge by Welsh saw him ground the ball for a try, only for him to be penalised after the referee adjudged that he had already been tackled. The Storm took advantage and went up field to score.
A penalty allowed the Storm to charge in for a converted try.
From the restart the Cents got back into attack mode and young James Doran was brought down after a good break by Rampling. Young Fred Vassie then scored a 50-metre try after a Storm knock, only for the referee to call it back for a scrum to the Cents.
Eventually, the Cents were able to get back on the scoreboard as Angus Simpson allowed Adam Kal to show great skill and strength to force his way over for a try converted by Andy John. However, the Storm were able to take advantage of a tiring Cents team to run in two more tries.
Unfortunately, the game was marred at the end with Chris True and Johnno Elvin being red carded on the final whistle for what the referee called 'dissent'.
The Cents remain in third place in the league and visit the Portsmouth Navy Seahawks on Saturday. A coach will be leaving their clubhouse on Saturday at 10am to take the players to Portsmouth