It took just minutes for Robb College to get on the scoreboard in Saturday’s New England Rugby Union grand final and from there, they never gave up the lead.
The students defended their line through ill-discipline and penalties but managed to post the first try of the match against the run of play.
Centre Tom Bucknell intercepted a Blues’ pass and raced away to score under the posts for a 7-nil lead.
The Blues posted points two minutes later via a Navi Tiko penalty goal.
Robb winger Drew Walsh took the second intercept of the match after the Blues attempted to shift the ball wide which put students in front 12-3.
Both sides landed penalty goals before half-time with Robb holding a 15-6 advantage.
Robb’s George Jackson found open space and the tryline to extend their lead to 22-6 before Blues fullback John Roberts returned serve with an intercept of his own.
Robb College split open the Blues defence again and looked certain to score before they were denied the linebreak by an Armidale opponent.
The students were awarded a penalty try to hold a 29-13 lead.
Just minutes after the re-start, Bucknell raced down the sideline to land his second try of the game. Walsh nailed the sideline conversion.
Five minutes later the Blues found themselves on Robb’s line and managed to cross through Jack Hodges.
Three minutes from full-time Jack Barham scored for Robb to seal the 41-25 win and the premiership.
Hodges landed a consolation try for the Blues as the siren sounded.
Co-coach Sam Ditchfield has been at the helm of the Robb first grade side for three grand finals and it was his first win.
“It was awesome, I am really pleased for the boys,” he said.
“They have worked hard all year across all grades and this is our third first grade grand final in five years so to win one is very special.
“We said earlier in the year that we had a very special bunch of guys and they are a very special bunch of guys so it is very pleasing.”
Quirindi’s David McCathie joined Ditchfield in the coaching role this year.
He said their defence early on in the clash was key to the win.
“Same old, same old,” he said.
We have been there all year, we have had to come back from things like that.
“A bit of ill-discipline but a couple of tries against the run of play and happy days.”