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Albury fires in three late tries, sinks Junee

Three tries in the last four minutes has seen Albury come from behind to defeat Junee at Loftus Oval on Sunday.
Nanjing Night Net

SECOND PHASE: Junee second rower Pat Sweeney breaks out of an attempted tackle by Matt Garness and Andrew Smith in the Diesels’ loss.

In a see-sawing encounter at the makeshift venue, the lead changed hands four times in the second half before the Thunder blewthe scoreline out in the dying stages.

Captain-coach Ben Jeffery, who announced this will be his last season on the border this week, was instrumental in getting his team over the line.

While dangerous throughout the game,Jeffery added plenty of spark late, and two important line breaks, to see the Thunder home.

However he still believes his team can be a lot better.

“The last 10 minutes saved us,” Jeffery said.

“Other than that with penalties and drop ball we were quite poor really.

“We had a lot of calls go against us so for the boys in hang in and get the win is a great effort.”

After plenty of earlyhandling errors from both teams, Junee went out to a 8-0 lead courtesy oftwo tries in three minutes.

WingerTom Brandon broke the deadlock after 22 minutes before captain-coach Matt Hands forced his way over the line.

Albury then had the returning Andrew Smith sin-binned late in the halfbut still found a way to go into the break with a 12-8 lead.

Despite Junee’s numerical advantageChris Seaton sliced through to get his team within two before he scored an 80-metre intercept try right on the stroke of half-time.

Junee responded 12 minutes into the half when a nice pass from Cameron Hands put Daniel Foley over before Max Moseby put the Thunder back in front, scoring after the young Junee halback’s40-20 attempt went out on the full.

Not to be denied, the Diesels edged back in front after Jordan Walker capitalised on a 50-metre from Foley.

Junee led 18-16 with 14 minutes to go and had a number of opportunties to go further in frontbefore Joe Silafau scored with five minutes left.

From thereit was all one-way traffic as Jeffery helped set up tries to Shannon Rupapere and Alex Jones to complete the win.

The skipper believes the win will give his team confidence heading into a tough clash against Gundagai before the finals start.

“It gives us a bit of self-belief now that we can come up against the better teams and if we play the right kind of footy we will do well against them,” Jeffery said.

“I still think we are a long way off what we can do out there.”

The Thunder are hopeful Andrew Cowhan will be back to tackle Gundagai next week while there is a chance Levi Freeman could play his first game of the season.

Freeman was deregistered by Country Rugby League after being found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm after a one-punch incident in Canberra in 2013.

He was sentenced to nine months imprisonment in September, but wasreleasedawaiting an appeal, which is expected to be heard early in the week.

Junee captain-coach Matt Hands rued his team’s missed opportunity to guaranteed a top three finish.

Hands saidfade-outs late in both halves were symptoms of the club’s injury problemsbut thought the result should already have been locked up.

“We ran out of puff at the end but it came down to well before that,” Hands said.

“We just made some silly errors when we had chances to really close the game out.”

The Diesels will now face Young at Laurie Daley Oval on Sunday, wherethe winner will finish third and receive a second chance in the finals.

Front rower Patrick Sagigi is chance to return from a broken jaw for the clash.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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