Tiredness plays its part as Centurions are pecked into submission by Roosters

St Albans Centurions' Sam Bucknall crosses the try line. Picture: DARRYL BROWN

St Albans Centurions' Sam Bucknall crosses the try line. Picture: DARRYL BROWN - Credit: Archant

St Albans Centurions opened their 2017 East Rugby League campaign with a narrow 39-35 defeat at home to St Ives Roosters.

Joe Shaw of St Albans Centurions on a typical strong run forward. Picture: DARRYL BROWN

Joe Shaw of St Albans Centurions on a typical strong run forward. Picture: DARRYL BROWN - Credit: Archant

The Roosters were first on the board with a converted try after just five minutes at Toulmin Drive.

St Albans Centurions' forward Scott Clellow crashes into the St Ives defence. Picture: DARRYL BROWN

St Albans Centurions' forward Scott Clellow crashes into the St Ives defence. Picture: DARRYL BROWN - Credit: Archant

They picked up a loose pass by the Cents and raced 75 yards to score.

Sam Norris and Sam Bucknell defend the St Albans Centurions' line. Picture: DARRYL BROWN

Sam Norris and Sam Bucknell defend the St Albans Centurions' line. Picture: DARRYL BROWN - Credit: Archant

Joe Shaw got St Albans’ first try of the season soon after out wide.

Two more tries followed but again they were out wide and again they went unconverted, which would prove costly later on.


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Captain Sam Bucknell took the ball on a burst for the first of them with Kieron O’Shea going over for the second.

Nick Woolley tried his best from the difficult angles but it only meant a 12-6 lead.

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St Ives took their chance to level the scores by scoring their second converted try but St Albans made sure they were in front at the break with Sam Norris, fresh from the bench, and Bucknell’s second.

Woolley added one kick for a 22-12 lead.

Just like the first half it was the Roosters who opened the scoring after the Cents defence failed to switch on after the interval.

Two tries in five minutes by scrum-half Sam Allen, both scored under the posts and both converted by Woolley, seemed to put the Centurions in pole position at 34-16.

But the final 20 minutes the tide well and truly turned.

With the Cents defence visibly tiring, they fell off too many tackles to give St Ives a way back in.

Two converted tries and a drop goal narrowed the gap to five points.

And the visitors rounded off the comeback with a further two tries and a conversion.

St Albans will now hope to regroup ahead of a tricky Hertfordshire derby at Hemel Stags on Saturday.

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