Rhinos stumble to a rare home defeat

IPSWICH Rhinos stumbled to a 46-22 Rugby League Conference Premier Division South defeat when St Albans Centurions became the first team to win at Ipswich for two years.

IPSWICH Rhinos stumbled to a 46-22 Rugby League Conference Premier Division South defeat when St Albans Centurions became the first team to win at Ipswich for two years.

The preparation for this game could not be more different for the two sides. Centurions came of the back of two narrow defeats by top clubs and were far sharper on the day.

The Ipswich defence, normally their strength, struggled to cope with the St Albans strong runners with Chillcott and Fountain outstanding on the day.

First 15 minutes were evenly fought until Smith broke through the Rhinos defence after a series of clever off loads to put St Albans ahead, but that was quickly cancelled out by Adam Cook with an opportunist try for the Rhinos, with a scoot from three metres.


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The Rhinos then enjoyed a spell of pressure with both Cook and Pollard held up over the line.

However, in what was to be the pattern for the day, a long St Albans kick bounced kindly for Wortley to break way and add to St Albans total, and Chillcott was the benefactor when Wortley cleverly chipped the defence, caught his own kick and off loaded under pressure to Chillcott to score to make it 6-22 at half-time.

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In the second half St Albans seemed content to let the Rhinos bring the ball to them which resulted in the Rhinos enjoying much of the territorial advantage, but the Centurions defence was sound and they continued to hit the Rhinos on the break.

Further tries by Cook and Louisson make the score 16-28 after 70 minutes, but any hopes of a Rhino recovery were snuffed out when the restart kick from another Chillcott try was caught by Oli Fountain who sprinted 70 metres to make the score 16-40.

From the restart Cook completed his hat-trick for the Rhinos with another short scoot after an attacking set had taken them to the S Albans line only for Richard Smith to brake away from the half-way line for a last minute Centurion try.

Peter LeMarquand kicked three conversions from four and Chillcott kicked seven from eight to make the final score 46-22.

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