Classy Cents give Skolars an education
Rugby League Conference Southern Premiership London Skolars 16 St Albans Centurions 60 ST Albans Centurions took a strong squad to North London on Saturday to face London Skolars with coach Shane Rampling in confident mood.
Rugby League Conference Southern Premiership
London Skolars 16 St Albans Centurions 60
ST Albans Centurions took a strong squad to North London on Saturday to face London Skolars with coach Shane Rampling in confident mood.
Cents, with a number of key players back from injury, struck inside 10 minutes when prop Lewis Padmore got the ball 10 yards out and took three Skolars defenders over the line with him to score.
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Skolars replied to level at 4-4 but Cents were soon back in the ascendancy. On 15 minutes, chasing a kick down field, Oli Fountain leapt above several Skolars players to take possession and cross the line.
Jacques Steynberg was next to make his mark when he took the ball out on the wing and, with a burst of speed, crashed through two tacklers to score in the corner.
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Fountain got the second of his two tries when, once again chasing an Owen Doyle kick down field, he rose high above the London defenders and dropped over the try line for another four points.
Full back Doyle took centre stage with 15 minutes of magic in the last quarter of the first half. The speedy player, back after 10 weeks out of the side, crossed the line three times to give Cents a comfortable 34-4 lead at the break.
The second half did not start too well for Cents when in the first minute nippy half back James Raynor was hurt in a crunching three-man tackle. The impressive Fountain was then on the receiving end of a four-man tackle and speed king Rudi van Der Merwe received a shoulder injury. Fortunately all three players returned to action after treatment from the physio.
The Skolars capitalised on the uncertainty when they scored as the Cents were still trying to organise themselves, with the conversion reducing their deficit to 24 points.
Cents responded when replacement Chris True took a superb long ball from Shane Rampling and left the Skolars in his wake as he crossed in the corner.
Player coach Shane Rampling decided to add his name to the scoreboard after a crashing 60 yard run from the excellent Mike Okwusogu broke up the opposition.
Five minutes later Rampling took the ball at dummy half and jinked his way over the whitewash for his second try.
It looked like the coach was going to get a hat trick but after a rampaging run he was stopped 10 yards out. A quick pass out to Tom Martell saw the youngster force his way over to score.
The last try of the game came from flying South African Steynberg with his second of the match after he took the ball on the Skolars 30m line, burst through three sets of tackles and scored a great try.
Fountain and Owen Doyle each kicked three goals to crown a great overall display from the Centurions squad.
Centurions squad: Owen Doyle, Ali Scott, Oli Fountain, Jacques Steynberg, Mike Okwusogu, Rudi Van Der Merwe, Lewis Padmore, Shane Rampling, Richard Smith, Roy Dube, Joe Vassi, Andy Lake, Johnno Elvin, Andy Weldon, Andy Lake, Chris True, Tom Mantell, James Raynor.
On Saturday, July 19 Cents are at home to the Portsmouth Navy Seahawks. Kick off is 2.30pm at The Recreation Ground, Colney Heath.