Super Cents muzzle Bulldogs

Centurions top the pile after two games

Rugby League Conference Southern Premiership

St Albans Centurions 66 Hainault Bulldogs 10

ST ALBANS Centurions are sitting at the top of the Rugby Leagues Southern Premiership after what can only be described as a resounding victory over Hainault Bulldogs on Saturday in their first game at their new home, Toulmin Drive.

The win is even more remarkable when player-coach Shane Rampling revealed that he was missing five regular first teamers due to work and family commitments.

The game opened well for St Albans which saw them scoring after four minutes when the forwards drove down the field and a quick play the ball out wide sent Matt Stringer over for a try. It was then the Bulldogs turn to put pressure on the Cents defence and a kick on the sixth tackle was knocked on by a St Albans defender and from the resultant scrum, Bulldogs centre Andy Baker shrugged off two Cents tackles and went over in the corner to score. He then converted his own try.

As the game restarted the Bulldogs were penalised for dissent, and from the quick tap penalty Cents full-back, David Kramer, sidestepped his way through the Bulldogs defence and scored under the post before converting his own try. The game then went backwards and forwards and was evenly matched, until on the half hour mark Cents Gareth Waters intercepted a Hainault pass and Cents forwards and a quick play the ball sent scrum-half Matt Stringer side stepping past the defence to score under the post. This was converted by Kramer to give St Albans a 16-6 half time lead.

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If the first half was fairly even, the second half was almost one way traffic from the Centurions as they ran in five tries in 20 minutes. The try scorers were Russ Kelloway, Alan Petty, Keir Bell, Jimmy Moffitt and Stringer. Ollie Fountain took over the goal kicking duties from an injured Kramer and converted four of the five tries. By now St. Albans were leading 44-6 and eased off their game a little. This was the chance for a never give up Hainault to grab a quick try when winger John Beth managed to get in at the corner flag.

St Albans then kicked long and deep from the kick off and a Bulldogs player could not hold on and knocked the ball forward. The ball came out of the resultant scrum and veteran centre Kelloway got his second try of the game which was converted by Ollie Fountain. The second half was dominated by the St Albans forwards who never gave the Hainault defence any time to compose themselves and time after time they crashed into a very tired Bulldogs outfit giving Moffitt, Lewis Dempsey and Fountain try scoring opportunities which they all took. Fountain converted two of these tries to bring up the final score of 66-10 in Cents’ favour.

Cents player/coach Shane Rampling said: “I can’t believe this scoreline. I thought the first half was fairly even, but believed we were the better team and that this would show in the second half. The domination of the second half wasn’t down to Hainault throwing the towel in we just got better and better as we played.

“It is still early days in the league, and we are still expecting another couple of good players to join us in the next couple of weeks, but if we carry on playing like this things are looking really good for us this season.”

Cents are at home at Toulmin Drive again next week when they play the highly rated Hammersmith Hoists, a team made up mainly of Australians (KO 2.30pm).

Cents: Kramer, Waters, Stringer, Kelloway, Cornthwaite, Norris, Wade, Dube, Rampling, Bell, Hollister, R. Dempsey, M. Dempsey, Blinkhorn, Elvin. Petty, L. Dempsey, Myers, Fountain, Moffit.

Next week St Albans Centurions are running a day of Rugby League at Toulmin Drive, starting at 10.30am.

Centurions U12s v Medway Dragons @ 10.30am; Centurions U14s v Medway Dragons @ 11.30am; Centurions U18s v London Skolars @ 12.30pm. Then the senior team play Hammersmith Hoists in the Southern premiership, kick off 2.30pm.