Robb presses ‘perfect’ button

ROBB College struck its fifth and most definitive blow yet to student rivals St Alberts on Saturday.

Robb second-rower Jock Tonkin braces for the dual defence of Ben Sandell (6) and Alex Pay as teammate Will Rains looks on. Photo: www.pixonline.com.au

Robb second-rower Jock Tonkin braces for the dual defence of Ben Sandell (6) and Alex Pay as teammate Will Rains looks on. Photo: www.pixonline.com.au

Last year’s minor premiers were left licking their wounds after Robb trounced them 46-12.

It was a huge statement, not just in terms of student bragging rights, but after they themselves had been thrashed by Armidale the previous week.

“It was an amazing turnaround,” Robb co-coach Jim Boland said.

“It was as good as I’ve seen them play. It was like someone switched a button.” 

It was like a firestorm for Albies in the first half except the wall of flames was green and white.

“The first 25 minutes was just outstanding. It was nearly perfect rugby,” Boland said.

The result was a 29-nil lead at half-time.

“We’ve been working on this pattern of play for two years and it finally came off,” he said.

“They didn’t miss tackles, didn’t turn the ball over and they kept the intensity up.

“They didn’t play well and then fall asleep.” 

As the scoreboard suggests they attacked well, but they were equally strong in defence.

“We made ground in defence,” Boland said.

The talk was there and the confidence in each other.

“They had confidence in the player beside them,” he said.

“They knew someone would be there to take the next attacker.” 

Skipper Tom Kent was huge for them.

On top of his regular busy work-rate he scored two tries picking up the ball from the back of the scrum and racing 50m to score, and not surprisingly got the three points.

Fellow back-rower Lachlan Jones got the two and earned high praise from Boland for his effort on debut.

“It was one of the best debut games I’ve seen,” he said.

“He tackled and tackled and tackled.” 

David James was also very strong again at fullback but it was hard to single players out.

Albies coach Tom Newsome was succinct in his appraisal – they were outplayed.

“Credit where credit is due – they played all over us,” he said.

The signs were there early.

“They came out really well and our guys made some errors and they capitalised,” he said.

“Our problem was they were more enthusiastic than us.” 

“Then when we got the ball and got opportunities we gave it up to easily.

“As a result we couldn’t get any momentum.” 

He said they certainly learnt a few lessons.

No-one really stood out for them but Jack King and Alex Pay both played pretty well in a beaten team.

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