Worst season ever continues for Cents
- Credit: Archant
THE CENTURIONS’ worst season ever continued on Saturday with a loss to visiting Nottingham Outlaws.
St Albans surrendered 20-plus points in both halves on their way to their 10th loss of the season.
For a season that started so well, with a 32-0 win over Northampton Demons on April 6, St Albans have been on an 11-game streak without a win since then. The only other positive result was a draw with the Demons on May 18.
Team manager Bottomley admitted it has been a frustrating season.
“Sometimes I think I have two teams out there; one minute they are missing tackles and making elementary mistakes, the next they are playing excellent rugby,” he said.
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“Injuries and unavailability due to work have hit us hard this season, and this is a very tough, high level league we are in.
“With three games left in our season, we cannot make the playoffs, but the camaraderie of this team is excellent, and we will keep on playing until the last game.”
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The Cents went into the game without three key players – Andy Lake, Joe Shaw and Matt Stringer – and conceded an early try from an Outlaws scrum after a knock-on.
Things got worse when Cents knocked-on again and Outlaws ran the ball into the corner. Nottingham added two more tries to inflate the score all within the opening 20 minutes.
Cents began to find a foothold in the game, playing good, open rugby. Andy Champ was the first to profit before Gareth Waters touched down to narrow the deficit. Both tries were converted by new signing Sean Kilkenny.
With only three minutes left in the half, and against the run of play, Cents were wrong-footed when the Outlaws ran the ball on the sixth tackle to go in at the corner, giving them a 24-12 half-time lead.
The second half was an almost identical replay of the first. In the first 20 minutes it was all Nottingham, who ran in three tries, but, after that, Cents upped their game and began to dominate.
Captain Rob Holbrook led the way with a kick and chase ahead, which he won, as he scooped up the ball and scored. Nick Woolley added his name to the scoresheet following quick hands from Holbrook. Kilkenny converted both.
Nottingham had the last score though, from the final restart, a long, high kick-off bounced favourably for Outlaws who touched down.
Cents now have a two week break before their next home game against top of the table Sheffield Hallam Eagles on Saturday, August 3. Kick off at 2.30pm at Toulmin Drive.