ALBURY Thunder star Ben Jeffery went from villain to hero in the space of a few minutes when he handed the Indigenous Allstars a thrilling 18-16 win over the Group Nine Invitational team at Greenfield Park on Saturday.
Only three minutes after missing a simple conversation from a Wayne Goolagong try, Jeffery made the most of a penalty after the siren by cooly slotting it through from a tight angle.
“I wasn’t sure how I was going to go after missing the sitter a couple of minutes earlier,” Jeffery said.
“It looked like it was going to miss, but the ball swung back late.
“It’s just good to get a win.”
Jeffery and Thunder teammate Willie Heta were outstanding as the Indigenous Allstars fought back from a 16-6 deficit to continue the team’s recent domination over the Allstars.
Winger Tristan Dixon also showed plenty of promise.
Allstars forwards Mitch Davis and Grant Boyd were strong for coach Josh Cale while Luke Berkrey and Glenn Dumbrell were also solid.
The late withdrawal of key players Luke Branighan, Nick Skinner and Thomas Bush also proved telling.
Cale said his team let a golden opportunity slip.
“Benny got us on the bell,” Cale said.
“Quality players have a habit of stepping up at crucial times and he’s done that a lot over the years.
“We probably dropped too much ball.
“I thought we had control of the game, but couldn’t close it out.
“It was a good game with a lot of kids there so everyone got something out of it.”