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ALBURY Thunder five-eighth Willie Heta has talked down his chances of winning Group 9 rugby league’s Weissel Medal.
Heta was among nine players — Luke Branighan (Young), Aaron Byrne (Cootamundra), Glenn Dumbrell (Kangaroos), Scott Matthews (Temora), Glendon Morris (Southcity), Kieran Pearce (Gundagai), James Smart (Gundagai) and Josh Toohey (Tumut) — in contention after 12 rounds of voting.
“There are only a couple of games left so hopefully I can go all right,” Heta said.
“It would be nice, but I don’t think I will win it.
“I think I have been more consistent this year playing a bigger role with Matty Rose and Henry (Heta) leaving as well as the two centres, but I don’t think I will win it.”
Heta, who captained the competition earlier in the season, has done little to harm his chances since round 12 by producing dominant displays against Brothers and Cootamundra.
He rates Branighan as the player to beat.
“Luke Branighan would be up there,” he said.
“The boys told me at training that I was among the names but there are some good players there.”
Young produced the winner last season when Ben McAlpine caused a stunning boilover by edging out Albury Thunder point-scoring machine Ben Jeffery by two votes.
Josh Cale’s team has three matches remaining against Tumut, Gundagai and Southcity before the bye in the final round.
Thunder duo Jarrod Clay and Lachie Hampton have been named in this year’s top-nine vote-getters, while Sam Brodie is in contention in Sullivan Cup.
Meanwhile, Heta is expecting Tumut to rebound strongly from its hefty loss to Southcity last weekend when the Blues take on Albury at Twickenham on Sunday.
The dangerous Toohey is rated a 50-50 chance of returning from injury.
“Tumut had a big loss last week but they will look to turn up against us,” he said.
“Hopefully we can get the job done.
“It will be a big game.”