ALBURY Thunder yesterday warmed up for next weekend’s blockbuster against Gundagai with a 68-0 whitewash of Tumut.
After leading 28-0 at half-time at Tumut’s Twickenham ground, the reigning premier took its game to another level.
Coach Josh Cale described the performance as his team’s best of the season.
Cale had the luxury of taking Mark Walsham and Willie Heta, who are unavailable to play against the Tigers, from the field with 20 minutes to play.
He replaced them at hooker and five-eighth with Lou Goodwin and Ben Jeffery to prepare for the clash at Greenfield Park.
“Everyone played really well,” Cale said.
“It’s the best we have played for a long time.
“Last week we made the opportunities but couldn’t take them against Cootamundra, but today we put it all together.
“I was really happy with the way the boys went about it.”
Goodwin returned to his best with a sensational performance. Jake Grace, Chris Seaton and Jeffery also played starring roles in the victory.
The home team was put on the back foot in the opening minutes when Heta scored. There was little let-up from then on as the Blues were hammered into submission by the most feared pack in the competition.
Seaton, Dion Belford-Laulu and Heta scored two tries each for the victors while Jeffery was lethal with 10 goals.
Although Tumut welcomed the return of key player Josh Toohey from injury, he had little impact on the match.
Thunder can stitch up the minor premiership by defeating Gundagai with Cale saying it was handy to be able to give Goodwin and Jeffery some time in Walsham and Heta’s positions in the lead-up.
“We were lucky to be in that position,” he said.
“With Willie and ‘Walshy’ away next week, it was good to give them some time there.
“Gundagai is the form team of the competition at the moment and it will take our best to win.”