Rhinos fail to capitalise on chances

ONCE again the Ipswich Rhinos paid the price for failing to turn territorial advantage into points as they lost 22-10 to St Albans Centurions in the Rugby League Conference Premier South Division.

ONCE again the Ipswich Rhinos paid the price for failing to turn territorial advantage into points as they lost 22-10 to St Albans Centurions in the Rugby League Conference Premier South Division.

For the second week running they forced their opponents to defend for long periods of the game, but they were unable to break down a resolute St Albans defence and were punished for first-half mistakes which left them with a mountain to climb in the second half.

The Rhinos pounded the St Albans defence from the start of the game but conceded a penalty on the halfway line on 10 minutes, from which the Centurions launched their first real attacking set. Chapman was on the end of a flowing cross field play to score an unconverted try in the corner.

The Centurions were then awarded a penalty when the Rhinos restart kick went straight into touch. From this, Rudi van der Mewre broke through the Ipswich defence to run in a second unconverted try to give the Centurions an early 8-0 lead.


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The tries spurred the Centurions into action and for a long period both sides battled to gain any advantage they could, putting in some huge tackles, which on more that one occasion caused a sharp intake of breath from the spectators.

On 21 minutes St Albans took advantage of a penalty and a second tackle set to put the Rhinos try-line under heavy pressure before Chapman forced his way over the line for his second try of the game.

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Late in the first half the Rhinos once again started to gain the territorial advantage, but a defender fumbled a long kick and van der Mewre chased down his own grubber kick to give the Centurions a 16-0 half-time lead.

The Rhinos immediately put St Albans under pressure from the restart and the hosts had a man sin-binned for a cynical professional foul on Adam Cook, who was certain to score.

However from the resultant penalty Ipswich moved the moved fluently across the pitch for Ben Louisson to power over in the corner.

Peter LeMarquand weaved his way through a packed St Albans defence midway through the second half to touch down under the posts to give himself an easy conversion to make the score 16-10, and for the second week running an unlikely comeback looked very possible.

The Rhinos second-half territorial advantage was, however, due to their defensive play containing the Centurions, and the Suffolk side's attack struggled to find any way through the well-drilled Centurion defence.

The hosts always looked dangerous, with a number of players capable of fast breaks and quick support in numbers.

St Albans finally killed any hopes of a Rhino comeback in the 70th minute when a tackle set extended by penalties allowed them to push the Rhinos back deep into the own half before Olli Fountain broke the Ipswich line to make the final score 22-10.

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