League leaders show killer instinct against Centurions

Full-back Gareth Waters attacks the Bristol line.

Full-back Gareth Waters attacks the Bristol line. - Credit: Archant

CENTURIONS’ first game at their new home on Toulmin Drive was not a happy one as they were played off their own pitch by Bristol.

Martin Day breaks the Bristol line to score his try.

Martin Day breaks the Bristol line to score his try. - Credit: Archant

The league’s top side were clinical with their attacks and all but wrapped up the points in a dominant first half. Despite a valiant fight in the second half, the Cents slipped into the bottom spot.

Matt Stringer receives a high tackle.

Matt Stringer receives a high tackle. - Credit: Archant

Team manager Tony Bottomley said: “We cannot just say that Bristol were a good side and leave it at that. We gave away so much possession and we were punished accordingly.

“We have lots of new players this season, and it takes a while for them to gel together, but catching and holding onto the ball is the basic requirement in this game, and we seem to have patches where we forget that.

“The one good thing that I can say about this match is that the lads have great camaraderie and their heads never went down. Their defensive efforts were very good, especially in the second half.”

Cents went into the game with several players missing, and five minutes after the kick-off Bristol scored. A kick bounced badly for the hosts allowing Bristol to score their first converted try.

The same thing happened again from the restart, when five good solid drives and a long kick set up the visitors to go in again for another converted try.

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Cents fought back and on the 15-minute mark, from a scrum down for a Sonics knock on, good running and speed of passing saw the ball go down the line to Martin Day who drove in from 10 yards out. Full back Gareth Waters kicked the conversion.

The game continued through all types of weather, from sunshine, rain, hail and very strong winds. And in a 10-minute spell just before half time the visitors managed to score three more unanswered tries.

The second half was much better for the home team, and with the wind at their backs they managed to keep Bristol down to just three more unconverted tries.

Although the Centurions spent most of the second period defending their half, they did have chances to score, but on several occasions, with the oppositions try line in their sights, their ball handling in the third and fourth sets let them down and they saw tries go begging.

And the bad news kept building for the Cents, when their international forward Andy Lake had to leave the field injured with 10 minutes to go.

Centurions will hope to pick up their second win of the season when they travel to the Midlands on Saturday, May 18 to take on Northampton Demons.