New England Rugby Union finals promise to excite

A THREAT: Kiteau Fortu has been a standout for the Elks this year. Photo: Catherine Stephen.
A THREAT: Kiteau Fortu has been a standout for the Elks this year. Photo: Catherine Stephen.

After the Elks wrap up their 2019 season in the third grade grand final, attention will turn to the first grade decider for the clash between college rivals Robb College and St Albert's College.

Robb have been the form team for much of the year, finishing minor premiers with nine wins and six points clear at the top of the table.

As the reigning premiers, New England Rugby Union president David Clifton believes Robb will be hard to stop.

"You only have to look at the results this year to see that Robb will start clear favourites," he said.

"They've won three from three against St Albert's this year, and had a comfortable win in the major semi-final to go straight to the grand final.

Clifton also believes the extra week off will work in Robb's favour and they will be rested and refreshed.

Noting that it has been some time since the two university teams have clashed, Clifton added a note of caution.

"These two teams last clashed in May and Albies have been building momentum particularly in the last three or four weeks," he said.

Not only will Robb and Albies collide in the top tier decider but both their second grade teams will face off in the match preceding first grade.

Bellevue Rugby Ground will not only host four grades of men's rugby and two women's matches, but will be the setting for a gala luncheon.

The broken noses and cauliflowered ears will be regaled by tales from some Classic Wallabies, as well as Waratah's new assistant coach, Welshman Steve Tandy.

"We've had a great response and seats are filling, but if you'd like to join us follow the link on our Facebook page," Clifton said.

Match schedule

10am: Fourth grade - St Albert's College versus Tamworth Rugby Union Sporting Club

11.10am: Third grade - Glen Innes Elks versus Tamworth Rugby Union Sporting Club

12.40pm: Women's sevens game one - Barbets versus Robb College

1pm: Second grade - Robb College versus St Albert's College

2.35pm: Women's sevens game two - Barbets versus Robb College

2.55pm: Welcome to country and national anthem

3pm: First grade- Robb College versus St Albert's College