At half-time at Tamworth Rugby Park on Saturday, there was sense of optimism among the Magpies faithful that they could end their seven game losing run.
Trailing just 10-7 and seemingly matching Armidale around the park they were right in the contest.
But not for the first time this season it all unraveled for the Magpies in the second half.
From a three point deficit at the break, by 15 minutes into the second half they were down by 20 with the Blues running in three tries in nine minutes to blow the score out to 27-7.
Another two quick tries made it 41-7, a final minute try to winger Brandon Humphries - his second for the game - providing something for the big crowd on hand for Old Boys Day to cheer about as the Blues spoiled the party 41-12.
Having gone into the game feeling optimistic after an encouraging effort against competition leaders St Alberts, coach Andrew Jack was left feeling extremely disappointed.
And that was "putting it mildly".
"The forward pack wasn't switched on and there were some players there that probably should have stayed in bed," he bemoaned.
It was the same old story of too many mistakes and poor discipline, both in respect to penalties and to the game plan.
The first half was comparably better than the second, but even then Jack counted at least three opportunities to score when they should have and didn't.
"The boys didn't have the knife edge to go through," he said.
In the lead-up to Humphries' first try they had some good possession on their line but through a combination of errors and poor options, and good defence from the Blues were unable to turn it into points.
Humphries' basketball leap to reel in a fortuitous bounce from a kick in behind the Blues from half back Ben Willis put the Magpies ahead midway through the first half.
But the Blues hit virtually straight back with lanky No.8 Tom Morgan busting through some feeble defence.
They then took the lead courtesy of Lachlan Donnelly's boot four minutes from the break, the Magpies missing a long range attempt right on half-time that would have tied the scores.
Similarly to before the game, Jack's main message to his chargers at the break was about structure and discipline, and maintaining their game plan.
But they lost their structure and their heads went down and they couldn't get back up.
"Unfortunately it was there in front of the old boys," he said.
It wasn't all doom and gloom.
There were "some bonuses in there" and the backline showed "glimpses of what they could do". Second grade and the women also posted wins, the result for second grade seeing them move into the four.
Sam White also continued his progression with the young prop one of the Magpies best.
"Darcy (Barker) again led from the front, Nat Ellerton did well in the air, Harry (Mills) had some good runs," Jack added.
Celebrating 70 years since the club's formation this year, the Magpies played in special commemoration retro jerseys, which were auctioned off at the Black & White Ball that night in support of Headspace Tamworth.
President Mitch Hanlon said on Sunday the auction raised over $10,000.
They also for the day retired the No.9 jersey in memory of former Magpie Dean Hawkins, who passed away last year.
Morgan, skipper Jack Grant, Donnelly, former Pirate Morgan Pennefather, Peter Cumming and Liam Meatheringham all crossed for the Blues, who with the win kicked six points clear of Barbarians in the battle for second after they went down to Albies 38-17.
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