A SCINTILLATING solo effort from Barbarians’ winger Dom Bower sealed victory for the hosts in Sunday’s minor semi-final clash against Robb College.
His length-of-the-field try right on full-time was his fourth for the match and ensured the Baa Baas will remain in contention for the New England Rugby Union title.
In front of a vocal crowd at Alcatraz oval, the Barbarians put first points on the board early on in the match through a penalty kick.
Minutes later, Bower earned his first five-pointer when he crossed under the posts.
The try was converted which pushed the hosts out to a 10-nil lead.
Not to be outdone, Bower’s opposite number Charlie McAlpine scored in the corner to being the defecit back to five points.
The first half of the match continued to see-saw with Nick Schnitzler and Liam Salmon crossing for the students and Bower bagging his second to level the scores by the half-time break.
Back-to-back penalty attempts for Robb College were unsuccessful and the scores were locked for the majority of the second half.
It wasn’t until 10 minutes from full-time the deadlock was broken when Barbarians’ Sam Blatchford kicked a three-pointer.
From there, it was all Barbarians with Bower planting the ball down for try number three and four shortly after.
Coach Tom Bower said nerves got the better of his side early on but was relieved they were able to keep their finals hopes alive.
“That game for us I thought was a real messy game,” he said.
“Both teams were quite nervous for the first finals game and that showed out on the field.
“There were a lot of mistakes and whenever there was a mistake the other team capitalised on it.”
The win sets up an exciting clash against last year’s premiers Armidale Blues to decide who will take on St Albert’s in the grand final.
Bower is confident his side has what it takes to make it to the grand final, it is just a matter of finishing what they set out to do.
“If they kicked those penalties they would have scraped home with one point,” he said.
“That was a really big wake up call for us so next week we are going to have to make sure we are really on song.
“We know the structures we want to play and ultimately it is just executing.
“At the moment it is a bit of a work in progress.
“Next week hopefully we will have it sharp for the Blues.”