Centurions teach Skolars lesson

St Albans Centurions continued their impressive build up to the National League 3 campaign with a comprehensive victory over the London Skolars reserve grade side, in a curtain raiser to the Challenge Cup tie with French giants Pia. The final score 34-16 in Centurions favour only partially tells the story of a tough game which had to end on 65mins with a Skolars player going down with what appeared to be a serious injury and both sides agreeing to call an end to the game.

The Skolars ran out a very strong side including first team players Ben Joyce, Jermaine Coleman, Huy Le and Richard Pollard but they had no answer to the aggressive defence and at times mesmeric attack of the Centurions who themselves fielded four debutants in their 22 man squad Shane Rampling, Jaco Labuschagne, Brendan Potts and Garth Wilson. Head coach Colin Baker was very impressed by some performances and is preparing to name the first team squad for April prior to the trip up to Castleford next Saturday where they face the Tigers academy.

Team: 1. K Warner 2. M Okusogowu 3. D Lam 4. C Jackson 5. C Gunnell 6. S Rampling 7. S Bradnock 8. T O'Shea 9. A Wheeler 10. E Thompson 11. J Willsher 12. G Little 13. R Smith Subs: 14. R Teau 15. R Dude 16. P Fitzgerald 17. B Potts 18. J Baihn 19. B Smith 20. G Wilson 21. J Labuschagne 22. O Doyle

Tries: Kristian (2), Allen (2), Richard and Eugene Goals: Sam (4), Jason (1)

Pre Season Launch Held at Barney's on London Road, St Albans, the pre season launch was very well attended and after key note speeches by Chairman Colin Baker and Head Coach Colin Baker, a very enjoyable evening was had by all attendees !!

Friendly Saturday 19th March Castleford Junior Academy v St Albans Centurions @ The Jungle, 2-00pm kick off (friendly) After the success of last years fixture Castleford were keen to host us again and should be another good preparation for the season proper. Squad Named

Colin will be naming a 25 man squad in advance of the Castleford game which will be the first team squad for the remainder of March and April. The squad will be reviewed on a monthly basis and it should be stressed that the door will always remain open to pass in or out. More details to follow.

For all the boys who have yet to train - get yourself along if you want to be considered.

National League 3 / Rugby League Conference Training - Training Wednesday 16th March at WESTMINSTER LODGE 7-30pm start and Friday 18th March at Woollams. All welcome to training. For more info contact Colin on [email protected] / 07760390200.

Injuries - Current injured players include Jack Malin (knee ligs).

Juniors St Albans Centurions u16 40 West London Sharks u16 22

Despite having a number of players unavailable due to rugby union 'county' matches, the Young Centurions U16s ran out deserved and in the end convincing winners over West London 40 - 22. St Albans raced out of the blocks to a 10-0 lead, the second try coming direct from the base of the scrum with Peter Chapman, enjoying his first run at loose forward, charging in from 20 yards. Wests eventually woke up and shook off thoughts of the broken down bus that had haunted their journey to bring the scores level as the Centurions' defensive frailties of the week before began to resurface (I was not a happy man).

However, after the teams traded tries for half an hour Centurions upped their work rate in defence and the opposition began to tire. Tom Nelmes and Nick Merritt did a lot of the work in defence while Joe Frewin took the ball in all day.

Sensing West's' weakness out wide Tom Sadler and Dan Evans began to move the ball wide at every opportunity and Jamie Molloy and the impressive Liam McKenna capitalised.

Chapman's stand out performance and hat-trick of tries gave him the forward and overall man of the match award, whilst a fantastic length of the field solo try from McKenna capped a great debut which gave him the back of the match award. No doubt the visiting South of England scouts raised a few eyebrows and scribbled down the names of a Centurion or two!

Many thanks to Clive for coming down and helping the lads and providing a few stern words where necessary. Next week we head down to Croydon where we hope the form continues so no excuses for missing training this week lads! by Rob Collins 14-03-05