Barbarians conquer conditions and Blues

BARBARIANS showed Armidale isn’t invincible executing a perfect wet weather game to knock the minor premiers off 35-10 in their New England clash on Saturday.

Barbarians No. 8 Sam Gates wraps up his Armidale opposite Mike TeMoana, as Josh Dunne (1) and Sam Myers move in to lend assistance. Photo: www.pixonline.com.au

Barbarians No. 8 Sam Gates wraps up his Armidale opposite Mike TeMoana, as Josh Dunne (1) and Sam Myers move in to lend assistance. Photo: www.pixonline.com.au

It was only the Blues’ second loss for the season and keeps the Baa Baas finals hopes alive.

They built the win off a well-executed kicking game with Keith Ellis doing what he does best.

Arguably the best kicking exponent in the competition in general play, Ellis kept the pressure on the Blues with his boot.

The only down side for the Baa Baas was a season-ending injury to captain Nick Dooner.

He’s broken his leg. He suffered the injury with about 10 minutes to go, stopping the game for about half an hour while he was attended to.

Blues co-coach Alan Jones said they were “fairly ordinary”.

“They (Baa Baas) adapted to the conditions better than we did,” Jones said.

“Their season was on the line and they played with a lot more enthusiasm than we did.”

“Keith really kicked extremely well and kept turning us around.”

In contrast they kicked poorly.

Still Jones felt they were well in the game.

They bombed a couple of tries and were only 11 behind when Dooner was injured. On the resumption of play they were pressuring the line hard but “tried to do too much”.

The Baa Baas got an intercept and scored a length of the field try.

They scored again to really ram home their advantage.

“It was a good wake-up call for us as far as anyone can beat anyone on their day,” Jones said.

The points reflected it was a forward-orientated game with number eight Mike TeMoana picking up the three, hooker Anthony Piddington the two and second rower Alex Smith the one.

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