New England Rugby: Tamworth beaten by St Alberts 8-7

If there was some solace for Tamworth coach Peter Burke and his charges after Saturday’s 8-7 loss to St Alberts, it was that they are getting closer to their first win.

Jack Barker was one of Tamworth's best in Saturday's loss to St Alberts.

Jack Barker was one of Tamworth's best in Saturday's loss to St Alberts.

“Four weeks ago we lost by three points and three weeks ago by two points,” Burke said, joking that on that they are set for a draw against Barbarians this coming Saturday.

Jokes aside, he said it was a “a bit of a heart-breaker”- their ball control costing them.

“I think we played particularly well, but I think they controlled the ball better than us,” he said.

“I counted eight times we just dropped the ball cold and in a very very tight clash they are the things that make the difference.”

There was only a penalty goal in it at half-time.

Albies scored outwide to make it 8-nil but the Magpies hit back with about 15 minutes remaining and, like their last outing against Robb, finished strongly.

“We spent the better part of the last 10 minutes in their half,” Burke said.

But they couldn’t make anything of it.

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Still, Burke was “very proud” of not only his sides efforts but all the sides that traveled up to Armidale.

“The whole club in terrible conditions performed well,” he said.

For first grade the result was a measure of how much they have improved after being walloped by the students 42-5 in the opening game of the season.

“I’m very pleased with our progress,” Burke said.

“A lot of the things we’ve been working on at training the boys are starting to put into practice.”

“When we got it wider we made inroads.

“Our scrum was dominant and we managed to own the space over the ball at the tackle.”

As the scoreline indicates defensively they were a lot better too. 

“We’ve been doing a lot of work on our line speed,” Burke said.

It was tough to pick standouts but Burke couldn’t go past Rob Creighton. He was outstanding in the second row, he said.

“We finally got the ball into the hands of Jacob Williams and “kiwi” really showed us what he can do,” he said.

“Any time he got the ball he was very damaging.”

Jack Barker picked up the one point and was as usual very solid and hard in the clean-out and the “tough stuff”.

In the other game Armidale defeated Robb 28-20