St Albans Centurions thumped by league leaders
CENTS team manager Tony Bottomley was clearly annoyed at the end of Saturday’s game after seeing his side lose 54-0 to leaders Huddersfield Underbank Rangers.
A disappointed Bottomley said: “They say that every team is allowed one bad game in a season, and this had better be ours.
“I think the best thing we can say about this game is that Underbank are the league leaders and on the day we were awful, and when you come up against a team as good as they are, you have to bring your best. We didn’t.
“This was the worst I’ve seen us play this season. We just didn’t turn up and we were punished.”
If ever the old sporting cliche of ‘a game of two halves’ applied, this was it.
The first half was fairly even, Huddersfield managed to get three tries, two in the last five minutes, and they all came from the Centurions not tackling low and missing more than they made.
The Yorkshiremen played with quick hands and when they broke through the Cents tackles, every Underbank player was backed up by at least two other players all waiting go through the gap the tackle had made.
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Although the first half ended 18-0, the game was quite even and there was not that much difference between the teams.
The second half was completely different, the Centurions began to make mistakes, give away silly penalties and dropped balls.
It seemed not only that Huddersfield had upped the pressure, but the Centurions were putting pressure on themselves.
In the whole of the second half the St Albans team seemed to be on the defensive a lot more than they were on the attack.
Underbank slowly began to score a further six tries, and rub salt into the wound, all their tries were converted, even those kicked from the side lines.
After the game, disconsolate Cents’ team captain Andy Lake said: “The team feel really bad about this game.
“We just didn’t have an answer to Huddersfield’s attack and we did not put them under hardly any pressure in the second half.
“We held our own in the first half, although they did score three late tries, but we let six in the second half.
“We could make an excuse of only having half a team available due to holidays etc and having to play with quite a few juniors and reserves in our squad, but Underbank are a very well drilled team and they can only play what we put in front of them.
“We were unfortunate to be on the receiving end of that. We can never play as bad as we did today. It was just one of those days when whatever we tried did not come off.
“Next week will be different”
Saturday is the last home game of the regular season, Cents take on Nottingham Outlaws at their Toulmin Drive ground, kick off 2.30pm.