Albies mull over tactics for Robb clash

ST Albert’s are looking to change things up as they look to change their fortunes against college rivals Robb College today.

Robb prop Wilson Mackenzie looks to offload against Barbarians last week. Today he’ll be looking to make it three from three against college rivals St Albert’s. Photo: www.pixonline.com.au

Robb prop Wilson Mackenzie looks to offload against Barbarians last week. Today he’ll be looking to make it three from three against college rivals St Albert’s. Photo: www.pixonline.com.au

Long the bridesmaid when it comes to the student battles, Robb has won every meeting this year.

Understandably, it has the Albies boys pretty fired up. 

It’s also a crucial game as far as the finals for them.

“We certainly need to be winning. We’re aware of that,” Albies coach Tom Newsome said.

“It’s very congested at the bottom of the table.”

There is only a point between them, Barbarians and Guyra.

Newsome felt the breakdown held the key to them turning things around.

“We contest the set plays pretty well and have got a dominant lineout and our backline matches it with theirs,” he said.

The breakdown is where they’ve had it over them.

“That’s probably where Robb’s strength is, the breakdown,” he said.

“We’ve changed a few things up to try to counter that.”

Not just with Robb in mind, but the other teams.

Armidale, for example, is very good at controlling the ball.

“We’re working on different strategies to come up with some more ball,” Newsome said.

The more ball they can get the better their chances of scoring points.

It’s one of several areas they have looked to address over the bye weekend.

They’ve also focused on improving their scrum and their defensive structures, and have changed a few things around.

“We’ve changed a few things with what we have been doing,” Newsome said.

They have had a developing game plan over the season as they try to figure out where their strengths and weaknesses are.

He said Robb does play a bit of a different style to them.

“They play more of a pick and drive game. We play a more expansive style,” he said.

That said, the same will apply to any other game - it’ll be about getting their share of possession and limiting their mistakes.

If they can do that they’ve got points in them.

In the other game, Armidale and Guyra both head to Glen Innes for their rematch.

The two met just last week with the Blues taking the points.

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