Albies clinch premiership

They’ve been the team to beat all year and now St Albert’s College have sealed it, snatching a win against Robb College. 

It was described by some as the best New England Rugby Union grand final in years with both college sides coming out of the sheds all guns blazing. 

Robb were first to put points on the board one minute into the game through a Harry Morrow-penalty.

The ball travelled up the other end and Albies drew level with a penalty of their own. 

The first try came courtesy of Albies’ captain Alex Pay when charged down a Robb kick. 

“Last time we played them they did a lot of the same stuff so as soon as Parmi [Nick Schnitzler] went out the back I knew what he was doing so I tried to charge it down and I couldn't believe that I caught the ball,” he said of the opening try.  

The conversion put them up 13-6. 

Max Cowley answered for Robb College 10 minutes later before Albies extended their lead to 16-10 through another penalty goal to lead at half-time. 

Robb were again first to put points on the board in the second term through a penalty before a Will Turner-try put Albies further in front 23-14. 

Darcy Larritt put Robb in front when he crossed for a five-pointer. 

Albies took the lead back when James Reynolds made his way over. 

Tom Condon extended the lead for Albies four minutes later. 

One minute before full-time Mick Ogilvie barged his way over but it wasn’t enough as Albies held on to win 37-29. 

Pay led the side to both titles in the last two years and ranked the win against Robb as up there with one of the most rewarding in his playing career. 

“It's great going back-to-back and there's nothing sweeter than beating Robb in a grand final, it doesn't happen pretty often,” he said. 

“It was the toughest game I have played in a long time. 

“It was very physical, a lot of running rugby and a credit to Robb, they really put us to the sword and credit to our boys for sticking out until the end.”

“It was probably the best win I have had in a long time, if not the best.”

Albies’ co-coach Chris Kelly said it took a resilient effort from his side to survive after Robb came firing out of the starting blocks. 

“It was a very tough game,” he said. 

“We knew Robb would be tough and in lots of aspects their enthusiasm level was far superior to ours so we could probably count ourselves a little bit lucky.”