Barbarians lose to Robb but fourth spot safe

THE New England finals make-up was confirmed on Saturday, with Barbarians clinging onto fourth despite going down to Robb College.

Armidale’s 43-7 win over Guyra in the other game was enough for the Baa Baas to hold onto fourth, with the Ghosts unable to catch them.

Both have the bye in the final round, as do Robb.

On Saturday, Robb  won a tough encounter against Baa Baas 20-8.

Baa Baas scored first but Robb negated that with two quick tries to be up 12-3 at the break, and was never headed from there.

At Moran Oval, the Blues took a little while to ground down the Ghosts but really kicked away in the second half.

“It was a very pleasing win,” Blues coach Alan Jones said.

“It was pleasing the players took on board the loss to Barbarians.

“They stuck to the processes and stuck to the game plan.

“They took on a physical side and did it well.”

He said they were up 12-nil after about half an hour and at half-time spoke about maintaining pressure, maintaining the game plan and playing for the conditions – things they didn’t do against Baa Baas the other week.

“Keeping it in the forwards and using the ball when appropriate,” he said.

Not on first or second phase.

They did, the pressure eventually wearing down the Ghosts.

“Our set piece was superb,” Jones said.

“Our forward pack took them on and really hooked in.”

It was reflective of a better overall attitude.

“We turned up to play,” Jones said.

The weekend action was marred by an ugly incident in the third grade fixture between the Gwydir River Rats and Pirates at Gwydir Oval, with River Rats player Marty Cochrane striking linesman Bernie O’Shannessy.

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