Hat-trick highlight of Armidale victory

MIKE TeMoana scored a hat-trick to lift Armidale to a 10-point win over Guyra while Robb scored a late try to snatch victory and spoil Albies’ day.

Both games were tight struggles, with Robb edging out their college rivals 17-11 in a thriller.

After trailing 10-3 at the break, Albies hit the front with about 10 to go.

But Robb regrouped and, with three or four minutes on the clock, hit back to make it four from four against Albies this season.

In Glen Innes, the Blues weren’t at their best but got over the Ghosts 24-14.

“It was a pretty dour sort of game,” Blues coach Alan Jones said.

He said neither side really played to their potential and he wasn’t really enthused about what they did.

Their first half was characterised by poor decisions with the ball in hand and a real lack of intensity, and they consequently trailed 7-5 at half-time.

“They looked like they were just going through the motions,” Jones said.

“There were patches of excellent play but it wasn’t consistent enough.”

“To give Guyra credit you can only play as well as the opposition lets you.”

The second half was a lot better.

They lifted their intensity and got good field position and were able to put the Ghosts under some pressure and draw penalties.

That was how TeMoana scored his three tries. All three came from quick taps – 5m out, 10m out and 15m out.

The set pieces were a bright spot.

The scrum and lineout were both “very good”, Jones said.

TeMoana was hard to go past as their best and got the three points, with hooker Anthony Piddington picking up the two and Navi Tiko the one.

The Ghosts had high hopes of rolling them and had the Blues on the rack in the first half, coach Don Carruthers said.

“We had a little bit of a meltdown (in the second half),” he said.

They didn’t really have a lot of cohesion and the support play wasn’t really there.

The Blues also did a good job screwing their scrum and closing down dangerman Vernon Horne.

“It just shows people who train Tuesday and Thursday will beat a team that only trains Thursdays,” Carruthers said.

Levon Stapleton, Rob Ivey and Beau Orchard were their best.

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