Ghosts steal win at the death

RUGBY UNION

BEAU Orchard was the hero for Guyra as they snatched a late victory,  after it looked like they had blown their early ascendency .

The Ghosts appeared in control up 22-3 early in the second half but Robb College stormed home to square things up with about four minutes to go.

It set up a thrilling finish, and in a dramatic final minute the Ghosts were able to unleash strike weapon Vernon Horne out on the left edges. 

Robb fullback David James managed to slow his progress with Horne making a few more metres before eventually being brought down.

But in cleaning up Robb were penalised granting the Ghosts a chance to steal it at the death.

It wasn’t the most convincing strike from Orchard, and even coach Don Carruthers thought it was going to be short, but it snuck over to give the Ghosts the points 25-22.

They had led from the first two minutes or so of the game with half-back Anthony Dittman going straight through after they’d built well into the 22.

Robb got the ball back from the kick-off and earned a penalty, which James slotted.

Things started to unravel for them not long after with breakaway Ben Emery forced off with injury.

A few minutes later their other breakaway Tom Kent suffered a similar fate.

He did get back on late in the half, but went off again in the second with a bleeding mouth.

The greasy conditions made handling difficult but the Ghosts seemed to deal with it better than the students and extended their lead midway through the half when James failed to clean up a clearing kick.

Chasing through Dittman snaffled the ball up and then got it away to winger Aisea Motuuki.

His counterpart on the other side Luke Fakaosita then showed some twinkle toes to dance around the Robb defence and create space for Rob Ivey to dive over.

James had a late shot at penalty but it fell short leaving the score 19-3 at the break.

The second half started horribly for them knocking on from the kick-off.

Not long after Orchard added another three.

Robb finally gave their supporters something to cheer about with centre Josh Carter producing a great individual effort.

He ran a good line to hit an offload from number eight Will Archer, stepped inside the winger, then around Orchard and ran away to score with four Ghosts players chasing him.

James then streaked down the left to close the gap to seven. 

They looked to be finishing over the top and had a couple of chances before Carter set-up James for his second.

James then converted to lock up the scores. Carruthers said they played some good footy in the first half.

“The boys were more committed and talking among themselves,” he said.

“They came committed to play good hard rugby.”

The second half it didn’t really click and discipline really became an issue.

“The second half we lost the discipline,” Carruthers said.

The penalty count favoured Robb 11-3 and a few times they were marched for backchat.

“We didn’t get enough ball in the second half,” he said.

“We gave away too many penalties to take control.”

They also dropped off their intensity at the breakdown.

“We were very committed in the first half in the ruck,” Carruthers said.

“We lost momentum in the first 15 minutes of the second half. We allowed them to come over the top and they were stealing our ball.”

Dittman was great for them. Chris Power, Orchard and Greg Hill also earned points with Orchard the players’ pick. 

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