ARMIDALE resumed its New England campaign in commanding fashion at Guyra on Saturday, beating the Ghosts 42-7.
The seeming ease of their victory was a contrast to Robb’s in the other game.
The students had a tough tussle with Barbarians.
Things were looking pretty bright for the students at half-time, up 26-6, but Baa Baas came at them hard in the second half and got it back to only five points at one stage.
But Robb held on and got home in the end 38-26 to assume the outright competition lead.
At Guyra, the Blues got back into the groove after having two weeks off without too much hassle.
“The boys were pretty happy to get on the field and get the win,” co-coach Alan Jones said.
“It was a good win in difficult conditions.”
It was miserable and freezing cold.
He said it was a pretty consistent performance.
The game was delayed for about half an hour, about 15 minutes in, with young Blues centre Tomasi Ratu – on first grade debut – dislocating his ankle.
But they were able to switch back on after that pretty quickly and do what they wanted to do, which was keep the scoreboard ticking over.
It wasn’t as easy as it seemed though.
“Guyra are a tough, physical side,” Jones said.
“Even though the scoreboard looks quite convincing they do know they’ve been in a game.”
The set pieces were one of the strongest aspects of their game, and where they really set it up.
“The lineout was dominant and the scrum, even though Guyra had a big pack, really put theirs to the test and came up trumps,” Jones said.
He was also really happy with their defence.
“They (Guyra) only scored in the last two minutes of the game,” he said.
There were strong performers across the park but Jones thought Alex Smith, playing at breakaway, Brodie Rigby and Joe Vusoniua were their best.