ON A ROLL: Crowd favourite Joe Silafau barges through the Temora defence during yesterday’s Group 9 clash at Greenfield Park. The Thunder’s momentum continues to build in the run to the finals. Picture: PETER MERKESTEYN
CAPTAIN-coach Ben Jeffery led by example to set up a strong 52-4 Albury Thunder win against Temora at Greenfield ParkAlburyon Sunday.
Jeffery, who missed last week to be with his sick partner, bagged a first-half hat-trick as Thunder continued their climb up the Group 9 ladder.
Despite leading 20-4 at the break it was not all one way for the home team.
“I thought we were a bit slow in the first half, but 50 odd to 4 is obviously a really good result for us,” Jeffery said.
“We’re getting there, the second half was good, but the first half just wasn’t.
“Ithought we were a bit slow to start,but we got there in the end and that’s what you want.”
Temora had their chances but, despite breaking the defence several times, were unable to find the line.
And the Thunder made the visitors pay, eventually.
Quick ball movement saw Thunder switch play and go widefor winger Daniel Hill cross out side to open the scoring after 15 minutes.
Shortly after a rampaging Joe Silafau had the Temora defence rattled with a charging run from deep inside Thunder territory.
He had winger Alex Jones in support outside but opted to go inside to his skipper Jeffery, who scooted 25 minutes to the line. Cameron Breust converted to put Thunder up 10-0.
Jeffery was in again when he wrong-footed his opposite Scott Bowden to score in the centres.
The Dragons eventually broke through when Bowden backed up some solid forward attacks close to the line to burst over in the corner.
A minute later it appeared the Dragons were in again after a clever cross-field kick, only to be called back for offside.
The no-try was costly as just minutes before half-time Jeffery gathered a loose Temora ball to cross for his third. Breust made it 20-4 at the break.
Albury came out in the second half full of intention and rattled the Dragons with some solid defence and flashes of brilliance.
Chris Seaton showed greatskills late in the game to pull down a high Cameron Breustkick and cross.
Daniel Hill picked up two tries in a solid day.
Levi Freeman, who also found the line, landed a solid tackle on Brady Oliver midway trough the second half.
Oliver took several minutes to regain his feet.
“We’reon the road again next weekend up to Tumbarumba, so hopefully we can keep putting up some wins and do our best to get into the finals,’” Jeffery said.
“It was a tough week but now hopefully we can just keep the same team on the paddock and keep trying to get some good wins.”
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