THE ARMIDALE Blues suffered a 28-nil thrashing by the Barbarians at Alcatraz on Saturday in what Blues’ head coach Andrew Watson described as unattractive rugby conditions. The Barbarians dominated play from the outset and Watson said his side was unable to respond.
“The Baa Baas really starved us of possession,” he said.
“They were incredibly keen and willing to get to the ball and unfortunately we were not able to match it.’
The Barbarians’ victory secured their place at the top of the ladder and saw the side take out the minor premiership.
Acting Barbarians’ captain Nick Dooner said his side didn’t play their best football but Saturday’s victory boosted the team’s confidence heading into the finals.
“The score should have been bigger given how well we have been playing,” he said.
“The Blues have not scored a single point on our home ground this season and that is a great effort for the boys.”
Tony O’Donnell, Jarrod Snook, Ethan McAllister and fullback Keith Ellis led the Baa Baas’ charge.
“The whole team executed new plays we had been working on well, but Ellis’ ability to kick into the wind, which was challenging at times, secured our victory,” Dooner said.
The Barbarians have dominated the New England rugby competition this year and have only recorded one loss which came in the first match of the season against the Blues.
“We lost in the dying stages of the game against the Blues because of disciplinary issues and this is something that we seem to have struggled with a number of times this season,” Dooner said.
“But I am confident our side is in a position to overcome these things ahead of the finals.”
The Barbarians will now look towards this Saturday’s game against Robb College who are currently sitting in second place on the ladder.
“This weekend’s game will be really important to give us an indication as to where we are going in to the grand final,” Dooner said.
“We beat them last time but they have improved and so have we, but we are focused on securing a win this weekend.”