ARMIDALE is looking to give St Albert’s a dose of the Blues again at Bellevue Oval today.
The two sides will meet for the first time since the Blues knocked the students off in last year’s grand final.
“This will be a really good judge of how the season is progressing for us,” Blues co-coach Anthony McMillan said.
So far the indication is good. The Blues sit on top of the table and last week trounced Barbarians by 32 points.
McMillan is expecting Albies to present a tougher challenge though.
“From all reports they are very quick out wide,” McMillan said.
Not that that is really anything different, and he expects that the students will have it over them for pace out wide.
The key for the Blues is not allowing them to utilise that and “skirt around them” as they tend to do.
“We plan to play them in the forwards and frustrate them,” McMillan said.
He felt they’d have the advantage in the forwards.
“We have the size over them in the forwards,” he said.
“If the scrum can dominate like it did last week we can slow their momentum.”
They welcome back skipper and player of the finals series last year, Ed Hiscox, and will have some strikepower off the bench with the likes of Alex Smith playing second grade and likely to be injected into the game at some point.
The focus is a little bit different for Albies compared to Barbarians but the basics of what they have to do remain the same and, if they can reproduce what they did against Baa Baas last week, the Blues will be hard to beat.
One of the most impressive aspects was their defence.
“Our defence was outstanding,” McMillan said.
They need to replicate that today and really make sure their line speed is good.
“We know where we need to cut them off and dominate,” McMillan said.
Robb College make the journey to Guyra in the other game with both sides chasing their first points for the season.