Student sides in charge at tabletop

ST Albert’s turned the tables on Barbarians while Robb basked in the sunshine at Guyra as the students took charge at the top of the New England standings.

Albies hold top spot but only on for and against after both sides picked up four-try bonus points.

Robb outgunned Guyra 27-15 while Albies kicked away in the last 15 minutes to account for Barbarians 32-17.

It was 18-17 at one stage but Albies kicker Alex Pay landed three long-range penalties to see them skip away.

Up at Guyra, Robb was greeted by much more pleasant conditions than its  last visit  and made it four wins in a row.

“It was good to get the win after having to change what we’ve been doing,” Robb co-coach Sam Ditchfield said.

It was the first time they’ve picked up a bonus point, and they played some good football to earn it.

“We strung some phases together, which resulted in some tries, which was was good,” Ditchfield said.

They did most of the damage on the scoreboard in the first half but had their chances in the second half.

“We probably opted to run the ball instead of taking a few shots at goal in the second half,” he said.

“To Guyra’s credit, their defence was good.”

They had a numbers advantage for at least half of the half, with the Ghosts having two players yellow-carded.

In contrast, Robb’s discipline  was very good.

The set pieces were also very good, as was their defence, especially in the midfield.

The forwards laid the foundation, which the points reflected, with number eight Tom Kent receiving the three, hooker Mitch Maguire the two and second- rower Will Archer the one.

Ghosts president Greg Hill said their first half was terrible.

They gave away too many penalties and couldn’t get any momentum.

It didn’t help that they struggled with their lineout.

“We lost our first seven lineouts in a row,” Hill said.

The second half was a bit better, although they still had discipline issues.

“Robb deserved to win,” Hill said.

Breakaway Liva Sili was again in the thick of the action and was the players’ player.

English import Vernon Horne also continued to impress and picked up the three points, while fullback Beau Orchard got the two and Tongan winger Ace the one.

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