Unstoppable Centurions silence Roosters

Kieron O'Shea makes the tackle

Kieron O'Shea makes the tackle - Credit: Archant

St Albans Centurions proved unstoppable with a 54-16 win over St Ives Roosters – despite being plagued by their season-long problems with unavailability.

Tim Rangihuna passes the ball out wide

Tim Rangihuna passes the ball out wide - Credit: Archant

As has been the norm this year they had started with a 17-man squad that was a mixture of regular players and rookies, with five playing their first competitive game of rugby league.

However, something clicked and the Cents put together some great free flowing rugby.

They ran in 11 tries with one of the debutants, Ben Russell grabbing a hat-trick.

Sam Allen chipped in with two and there was one each for Jake McLoughlin, Phil Shire, David Coyle, Kieran O’Shea, Cameron Craig and Darren Westhead.

Ben Russell on his way to the first of three tries

Ben Russell on his way to the first of three tries - Credit: Archant

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The one dark spot on the day was a suspected collar bone injury to Myles Costello.

The tries came at regular intervals after Allen collected a Tim Rangihuna kick to open the scoring.

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Russell’s impact was particularly decisive.

Arriving as a replacement after 30 minutes, the new boy’s first touch saw him race over from half-way, and immediately after the restart he did the same again.

Darren Westhead gets the ball down over the try line

Darren Westhead gets the ball down over the try line - Credit: Archant

It gave Cents a 26-6 lead at half-time and they kept the pressure on in the second half.

There was an extra loud cheer on 45 minutes as Cents old boy David Coyle took the ball from half-way and scored a great, individual try.

Coyle now lives and works in Australia but signed on to play for his old team whilst he is back in St Albans on his holidays.

Russell’s hat-trick score came after he broke through two tackles and Craig, another new signing, opened his account a minute later in similar fashion.

Team manager Tony Bottomley said: “We had several debutants in todays game, five of them playing their first competitive game of rugby league.

“Ben Russell did very well, it was almost three touches, three tries.

“I was pleased with the performance today, it was nice to see the regular players helping out and advising the new ones.

“There is one thing we will be working on. The opposition scored three times and each one came from penalties that we gave away.

“That needs to be sorted.”

The Cents do not have a game next week as Toulmin Drive will be the venue for the East Rugby League Cup, Shield and Plate finals.

Kick-off is at 1pm, 3pm and 5pm and there will be a beer tent and a BBQ.

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