Midweek toil takes its toll as Cents lose to Tigers

Jamie Street takes on two Bedford defenders.

Jamie Street takes on two Bedford defenders. - Credit: Archant

The heroic efforts against the British Army Rugby League team midweek took its toll on the Centurions as they were beaten in the league by Bedford Tigers.

The Cents welcomed the Army to Toulmin Drive last Wednesday and held their own against the armed forces’ team in a 32-16 loss. They paid the price on Saturday, though, running out of energy and ideas in the last quarter against the table-topping Tigers.

The verve and passion of the past few weeks were there for all to see as the Centurions again made a mockery of league positions to run in five first-half tries to Bedford’s two.

The first came from the irrepressible Miles Costello, latching on to a long pass from Tim Rangihuna. The Kiwi then followed up his own kick to extend the home team’s lead before Joe Shaw smashed over the line from a penalty tap.

Scott Bellamy capped another barnstorming performance full of energy and aggression with a well-deserved try. Fellow newcomer Liam Kelly then underlined his importance to the side with a powerful run, including a devastating side-step, ending in an exquisite off-load to send Rangihuna in for his second try.

The Tigers responded with two early second-half tries, but the Centurions weren’t yet finished and replied in style. First, Costello scored in the corner from another Ranguhina assist, before setting up Shaw for the Centurions’ seventh try with a deft back-handed off-load.

A fourth conversion from Gareth Walters left the Centurions sitting pretty at 34-22. But then the wheels came off.

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The midweek exertions took their toll on an already depleted squad and Bedford exploited the situation mercilessly. Four converted tries and a drop goal later, the final whistle sounded on a remarkable Tigers comeback.

Chairman Brian Parker said: “Every one of the lads gave everything they had today, just as they had on Wednesday evening. The skill and the heart were there for all to see, but once they ran out of gas in the last quarter, the result was inevitable.”