By MATT NICHOLLS
A LACK of discipline proved costly for the Barbarians, skipper Nick Dooner says.
The Baa Baas gave away a number of penalties and had two players sin binned against Armidale on Saturday.
A handful of penalties came following backchat towards referee Peter Haynes.
“We were our own worst enemy,” Dooner said.
“That lack of discipline was probably the difference between them winning by 20 or 30 points instead of 50.”
Dooner, who led the way in the front row, said it was important that his side moved on quickly from the loss and learned from its mistakes.
“We just need to concentrate on our game and not worry about the ref or the other side,” he said.
“We’ve got a week off before our next game.”
Dooner said there were few positives to take from Saturday’s hiding, but was encouraged by the performance of rookie Anthony Cooper in the centres and his side’s efforts in the last 20 minutes.
“We dug deep late in the game, which was something,” he said.
“It would have been easy to roll over.”
Armidale co-coach Jamie McMillan was full of praise for his side.
“I don’t think we had a bad player on the park,” he said.
“I thought we were really impressive at the scrums and the lineouts, too.”
While the Blues were potent in attact to score 55 points, McMillan was most pleased with the defence.
“Our players stood tall when they had the ball,” he said.
“We know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of a big loss and I’m sure they (Barbarians) will come back harder next time.”
McMillan said the Blues were now in the envious position of having depth to their playing ranks.
Four regular first grade players missed against the Baa Baas, with three of them – Alex Smith, Ed Hiscox and Mike Te Moana – likely to be available against St Albert’s College on Saturday.
Adam Croft, who is suffering a shoulder injury, is likely to return later in the season.
“Those players won’t walk straight back into the first grade side,” McMillan said.
“They will have to come back through the seconds.”
Saturday’s match between Armidale and Albies will kick off at 3pm at Bellevue Stadium.
Guyra will host Robb College in the other first grade contest.