Centurions pay price for errors against Coventry Bears

Rugby League Conference Three St Albans Centurions 20 Coventry Bears 36

“THE score was 20 points each with 15 minutes to go, but St Albans Centurions have no-one to blame but themselves for losing this game.”

That was the opinion of Cents player/coach Shane Rampling after his side’s 36-20 defeat to Coventry Bears on Saturday.

In his after match statement, he said: “Too many basic mistakes were made throughout the game. Too many missed tackles, dropped balls and silly penalties were made.

“It could be down to the fact that we have not played one of our four games now with anywhere near the same team. We are in a league where most of the teams are semi pro, whilst we are still 100 per cent amateur and that does make a difference at this level.

“This game lasts for 80 minutes, we played well for 65, then let our concentration drop for the last 15 and we were punished. Next week we must do better.”

For the spectators, the game was very enjoyable. Very fast and hard.

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The Bears opened the scoring with two tries in the first 20 minutes, only for Cents rampaging prop forward Dylan Rampling to sprint 20 yards to cross the line two minutes later for a Cents try that George Stevens converted.

The Bears answered with another try before Centurions winger Rudi Van Der Merwe scored yet another of his long range tries, beginning on the half-way line.

On two further occasions the Cents dropped ball on the last pass before an open try line. At half-time it was 14-10 to the Midlanders.

The second half started badly for the Cents as Coventry scored a try within two minutes of the kick-off.

However, as the game progressed it looked as though St Albans were gaining the upper hand.

Matt Stringer, making his first appearance of the season for the home side, topped off a fine performance with a long range try which Stevens converted, followed five minutes later by newcomer Jack Baron, playing his first game of rugby league, speeding down the wing and scoring in the corner.

The game was tied at 20-20 with 15 minutes left. Then things started going wrong for the Centurions. Missed tackles and showing signs of tiredness, the St Albans team just could not keep up with the big, fast Bears backs.

In the last 15 minutes they ran in three tries, two converted, to give the final scoreline 36-20 which, as the Coventry Bears coach agreed, did not reflect the actual game play.

The Cents travel to Yorkshire on Saturday, to take on the Bramley Buffaloes.