Mistakes resign Centurions to defeat

Centurions' prop forward Roy Dube on the charge.

Centurions' prop forward Roy Dube on the charge. - Credit: Archant

“SILLY” mistakes resigned Centurions to defeat on Saturday as they relinquished their spot at the top of the table.

Centurions' captain Rob Holbrook.

Centurions' captain Rob Holbrook. - Credit: Archant

After shutting out Northampton Demons the week before, Centurions were a shadow of themselves as they surrendered 24 first-half points on their way to a 28-8 loss.

Acting team manager Brian Parker said: “This was a different game from last week. In my opinion we were the fitter and more physical team, but where we went wrong was with the little things, the basics.

“We dropped too many balls when we were within scoring range and Nottingham were on form, they punished our mistakes.

“Next week we are playing the Sheffield Hallam Eagles, a team made up from Hallam University and the Championship club Sheffield Eagles, and we had better up our game when we play them, no more silly mistakes, we are too good a team for that.”

In a disjointed and error-strewn first half display, St Albans threw away their perfect start to the season. Despite having a strong wind behind them, it was the Centurions who were on the back foot.

All had started brightly with powerful, tackle-busting runs gaining good yards in the first few sets. However, the Outlaws bounced back with powerful running and smart interplay of their own to engineer an overload on the left wing and score the game’s first try after just five minutes.

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Centurions bounced back through a trademark break by Scott Clewlow from 20 metres out. The forward broke the line, shrugged off tacklers and set up Wayne Crawford to storm his way over the line and level the match at 4-4.

Outlaws struck again just three minutes later, and a back-and-forth battle seemed to be on the cards, but instead the Outlaws raced away to an unassailable 24-4 half-time lead.

The half-time team talk from coach Andy Champ and senior players was as frank as it was challenging, and from the off St Albans rediscovered their pride if not the high standards they’d set themselves a week earlier.

The organisation improved, their tackling began to hurt and the Outlaws spent more time defending their own line than attacking.

However, against the run of play Outlaws added anther try to kill off the game. There was time, however, for Centurions’ leading try-scorer Mike Hollister to touch down but the damage done in the first half was too much to overcome.