BARBARIANS repelled a late raid from Robb College on Saturday to hold on for a seven-point win and move to third.
The Baa Baas’ resolve was tested with the students finishing strongly, hemming them in their 22 but they held them out to take the points 20-13.
“We were on our line defending for the last five minutes about 5m out,” Baa Baas coach Sam Piddington said.
He said it was a great effort to hold them out under that pressure, even more so given they were down a player as a result of a sin-binning.
“Those games earlier in the year we were losing,” Piddington said.
They scored the only points of the second half with scores level 13-all at the break.
The win saw them jump from the bottom of the table to third.
“It was a bit of a scrappy, funny game,” Piddington said.
It was a bit stop/start. It wasn’t their best game but they got the result.
“We just took our opportunities when we could,” he said.
That said, their tries didn’t come from a lot of build-up.
“Only a couple of times we got good phase play together,” Piddington said.
But even then they couldn’t convert. They made some inroads but then that final pass would go astray.
“We were a bit out of sorts after the bye,” he said.
The Robb side was very enthusiastic in the first half.
“We outenthused them in the second half. That was the biggest thing,” Piddington said.
He was also really happy with their defence in the backs.
“We shut their backs down,” Piddington said.
Aaron Mackay was their best at hooker with Keith Ellis awarded the two points and Sam Gates the one.
Robb co-coach Sam Ditchfield thought Ellis was the difference.
He ran very strongly with ball in hand and with the wind behind him in the first half was kicking the ball 60-80m on penalties. “He was landing the ball right down on our line and we had to defend it,” he said.
They then weren’t able to exert the same pressure in the second half when they had the wind.
“I was really disappointed the week before with the commitment and application of our blokes,” Ditchfield said. “On Saturday I couldn’t fault that.”
It was one of those days when the bounce of the ball wasn’t with them.
“We had a few calls go against us,” he said.
In one instance their half-back slipped through and was in the process of putting the ball down when play was called back for an earlier infringement in their favour but they lost the advantage.
But that happens in footy, Ditchfield said, and he wasn’t taking anything away from Baa Baas.
“They deserved the win. They’ve improved out of sight,” he said.
Cedric Fadel made a strong debut at breakaway picking up the three points.
Winger Sam Platts got the two and prop Will Chaffey the one.