Smith inspires Cents to bridge the gap

PUBLISHED: 16:14 16 June 2008 | UPDATED: 13:22 06 May 2010

Richard Smith completes his hat trick on Saturday

Richard Smith completes his hat trick on Saturday

Rugby League Conference Southern Premier Division St Albans Centurions 38 Elmbridge RL 32 COACH Shane Rampling hailed the contribution of Richard Smith as St Albans Centurions returned to winning ways on Saturday. After four consecutive defeats

Smith slams into the tackle

Rugby League Conference

Southern Premier Division

St Albans Centurions 38 Elmbridge RL 32

COACH Shane Rampling hailed the contribution of Richard Smith as St Albans Centurions returned to winning ways on Saturday.

After four consecutive defeats, including a first ever home league defeat at their Colney Heath ground, Rampling reinforced his side with important trio Smith, Rudi van der Merwe and Jacques Steynberg all back in action.

The Cents were still not back to full power though, with England lionheart Oli Fountain and Dan Hensby both turning out despite injury troubles.

Visitors Elmbridge powered into a 14-0 lead as the misery looked set to continue for Cents but the formidable Smith went over for a converted score to start the recovery.

Cents reduced their deficit to just two points before half time and continued their assault in the second period. Smith helped set up a try and scored twice more to complete a thrilling hat trick as the team from St Albans held off the battling visitors and picked up a crucial 38-32 victory. After the win, Rampling said of Smith: "That was an awesome performance. I don't think we'd have won without him. He led from the front. To our credit, our young lads made some good strong runs once they got into the game but it took a while to get into it. The main thing is that it is a win and another two points.

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