Robb gets the bragging rights

ROBB College finally got one up on college rivals St Albert’s on Parents’ Weekend on Saturday.

Robb second-rower Will Archer crashes over just after half time to put his side in the lead for the first time in the college derby against St Albert's. Photo:

Robb second-rower Will Archer crashes over just after half time to put his side in the lead for the first time in the college derby against St Albert's. Photo:

The annual fixture is regarded as the biggest game outside of the finals and in recent years the honours have gone in Albies’ favour.

But Robb’s time came on Saturday as it turned around a half-time deficit to take the points 18-11.

“It’s the first time in at least four that Robb has beaten Albies on Parents’ Weekend,” Robb co-coach Sam Ditchfield said.

As the scoreline suggests, there wasn’t a lot between them.

“Both sides had their opportunities,” Ditchfield said.

“We probably made the most of those.”

Albies came out the better and, after leading 8-nil at one stage, held an 8-3 advantage at half-time.

It was then 11-all for quite a while, with Robb scoring the decisive try with about 10 to go.

Ditchfield said their commitment to each other was a big factor in the win.

“They defended very well,” he said.

They were very aware of Albies and the way they play and had worked hard on their defence to try to nullify that.

A big part of that was pressure. 

“We did put a bit more pressure on them than we have in the past,” Ditchfield said.

He said one of the things they spoke about at half-time was the tight five doing the grind at the breakdown.

“That is, when we’ve got the ball the tight five getting there and securing the ball and not standing around to be a ball runner,” he said.

“The first half we let ourselves down a bit by not being committed enough at the breakdown.”

That was one of the factors for the turnaround.

Joe Evans got the three points for Robb and impressed in his first run at outside centre.

“He’s never played outside centre before in his life,” Ditchfield said.

“He’s a half-back by trade.”

They’ve probably actually got three or four “half-backs” in the side, he said.

Ditchfield and Jim Boland had had Evans on the wing but took a punt on Saturday and moved him to the centres.

“His defence was outstanding to nullify them,” Ditchfield said.

“Their outside backs never got a chance.”

He also ran the ball strongly.

Breakaway and captain Jake Smith got the two points and second-rower Will Archer the one.

Albies coach Tom Newsome said the effort was there but the execution was lacking a bit.

Not that that was completely surprising.

“Often you say that Parents’ Weekend game they actually want it too much,” Newsome said.

“They play on a bit of emotion and things don’t stick as they normally would.”

He thought it was a case of them making more mistakes than Robb did.

“Way too many mistakes, and bad options,” he said.

They were stung twice from set pieces that went awry.

Robb scored one try from a scrum that the ball spurted out the back of and the half-back dived onto.

Their first try came from an overthrown lineout.

That’s not to take anything away from Robb.

“They were good around the paddock,” Newsome said.

He said they had their chances in that last 10.

“We pressured their line quite a bit in that last period but couldn’t crack them,” he said.

Ben Carrigan, Charlie Sykes and Joe Druce were their best.


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