British Army beat gutsy Cents in friendly

PUBLISHED: 10:05 03 August 2015 | UPDATED: 10:05 03 August 2015

Tim Rangihuna on his way to score. Picture: Darryl Brown

Tim Rangihuna on his way to score. Picture: Darryl Brown

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The British Army beat St Albans Centurions 32-16 at Toulmin Drive in the annual friendly last Wednesday.

The Army is preparing for the Inter Services Rugby League Tournament that starts next month.

Before the game, both team captains were introduced to the Mayor of St Albans, Cllr Salih Gaygusuzm, and a representative of Cents’ sponsors, Stowe Family Law, Clare McParland, who both stayed on to cheer the teams throughout the game.

It looked like it was going to be a one sided game in the Army’s favour when they ran in three tries in the first 10 minutes. However, the Centurions struck back on the 15 minute mark when Josh Lawrence and Sam Norris put on a move that drew in defenders, which allowed Tim Rangihuna to sprint 45 yards to score. Gareth Walters converted.

The game then became a midfield tussle with both sets of players attacking and defending in the central area. Unfortunately for the Cents, the fitness of the Army players showed, as they ran in two more tries in the last five minutes of the half, making the score 28-6 at the break.

A revitalised St Albans team not only held, but pushed the Army back into its own 20 meter area and held them there for three sets of six before Josh Lawrence powered his way through the defensive line and scored. Once again Walters converted.

It looked as though Cents were in the ascendancy but twice they had tries disallowed, first when captain Chris Davis went over and then Joe Shaw was held up.

Ten minutes from full time, Cents’ Jamie Street sped down the wing, shrugged of two tackles and scored an unconverted try out wide, making it 28-16 to Army in the dying minutes. A further score from the visitors added extra gloss to the final scoreline.

Rob Martin, one of the Army’s coaches, said: “St Albans won the second half; their defence was outstanding, I counted five sets of six where they kept us in our own 40 meter area. It takes a good team to do that to our boys.

“Centurions are one of the best amateur teams we have played for a long time. They won the second half by never giving up and by the amount of pressure you put on us. Well done Cents.”

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