Albies escape with a win

Glen Innes-Guyra were 20 minutes away from their first New England Rugby Union victory this season when a piece of individual brilliance gave their opponents, St Albert’s College, the win. 

Narrow loss.

Narrow loss.

In the game at Glen Innes, the home side were leading 8-7 nearing the full-time siren when Albies’ interchange player Alex Webster found open space down the blindside and quashed the GhostStags’ chances at their first win. 

“They won the scrum but we had them under pressure. They were going backwards and the scrum half just seemed to slip to the side and run to the corner and score,” vice-captain Henry Burridge said. 

“He is very lucky.

“They did make a lot of errors though to be fair but that might have been on the back of our pressure.” 

Each week the margins in their games are getting smaller and smaller. 

Burridge said there are only a couple of elements left to fix up before they hit top form. 

“We are definitely improving,” he said. 

“It is just a matter of everyone in the team is learning to trust each other. 

“Once you have that trust you need to learn each other a bit and once you do that you can do a bit.

“Our wins, they can’t be that far away. You can just feel it coming and that might be enough to boost everyone’s confidence.”

Albies’ co-coach Chris Kelly lamented his team were nowhere near their best and were “lucky” to get the 14-8 win. 

“We didn't play well,” he said. 

“We made a hideous amount of mistakes but they put us under pressure to make them.

“We need to learn to deal with the pressure more.

“Our blokes should have prepared a lot better than they did and nearly got their bottoms smacked as a result.” 

This Saturday the GhostStags travel to Armidale to take on the Blues who are coming off a 33-12 loss to Robb College in an error-filled game. 

The visiting side have been labelled as one of the most physical teams in the competition and Burridge believes it comes down to the experience of some of their players.

He said the Blues have the ability to try and match it with them. 

“I would expect, they have a bit of a younger team than they have had in the last few years but they seem to handle the physical stuff that Robb or Albies does but we are just trying to retain ball,” he said. 

“We can defend but we just want to retain the ball because you can’t get points without it. They definitely have some handy players. I don’t think anyone’s unbeatable in this competition.”