St Albans Centurions crashed to a 54-0 home defeat to South West London Chargers in their London Cup semi-final on Saturday.
The Cents were overwhelmed by the undefeated Premiership table toppers.
Whilst the St Albans team never seemed to settle down, South West London went through the motions of playing hard, simple rugby league of a very high standard which certainly paid off against the Cents, who found it hard to compete with their free flowing, none stop style. The visitors, made up of mainly Australian and ex-pat northerners, played a game where every move or break was backed up by several support players.
The Cents knew they were in for a hard game especially after stalwart Joe Shaw limped off after 15 minutes with a recurrance of his hamstring injury while Simba Mupamhanga and Harry Trude both had to leave the game with facial injuries. The Chargers ran in five converted tries in the first half and four in the second of a one-sided encounter.
Coach Obi Ijeoma said: “I can’t say anything about that performance. Individual players did their best, and the team showed a big heart, but we must play as a team, not as individuals. I will be speaking to the team at training. I know this season was a consolidating season, aimed at getting all the new players up to standard for next year, but we should have done better than that.”
Cents Director of Rugby David Stevens said: “We played against what is probably the best team in the league today. They were outstanding opponents. However, one of the few positives we can draw from a game like this is that our complete first and second team squads are drawn from players who live in and around St Albans, we have no Australians, no New Zealanders.
“The team we faced today had a lot of Aussies and lads from up north who have played rugby league to a very high standard. We had a couple of lads in our squad playing only their first or second ever competitive game of rugby league, so the result should be put into some context.”
It does not get any better for St Albans as there is a return match against South West London Chargers at Toulmin Drive on Saturday in the league.