ALBURY Thunder is warming to the task.
After mediocre wins against Gundagai and Brothers, the reigning premier took its game to another level yesterday by trouncing Temora 64-6 at Greenfield Park.
Thunder led 16-6 at half-time before hitting the switch and scoring 48 points in a remarkable 32-minute burst that almost left ground announcer Barry Overs without a voice.
Coach Josh Cale said he was pleased with the momentum his side was building.
“The second half was really good today,” Cale said.
“I knew they were a lot better during the warm-up and I thought the boys did well after a bit of a scratchy start.
“This week was definitely an improvement.
“We aren’t at 80 minutes yet but I was happy with the effort and each week we are taking small steps.”
Man of the match Jake Grace opened the scoring at the eight-minute-mark following some outstanding lead-up play from Willie Heta and Ben Jeffery and, when Daniel Jacobs and Mitch Seaton followed up, the warning bells were ringing.
But the Dragons scored through Sam Kerry eight minutes before the break to ease the scoreboard pressure and coach Michael Henderson would have been happy to limit the damage at half-time.
The same couldn’t be said for the Dragons when play resumed.
Usual suspects Grace, Mitch Davis and Lou Goodwin continually broke Temora’s line while Jeffery, Jacobs, the Seaton brothers and Lachie Hampton reaped the rewards out wide.
Jeffery put on a point-scoring blitz with four tries and 10 goals for the match in a performance that was reminiscent of his form in 2012 when he took Group 9 by storm.
Henderson was solid for the Dragons but lacked support.
“I thought the boys did a great job on Michael Henderson,” Cale said.
“He’s a good player but they worked really well together.”
Albury is the only undefeated team in the competition after three rounds but will face its toughest tests against Cootamundra and Southcity in coming weeks.
Cale said Grace was getting better each week after joining the club mid-season last year following hip surgery.
“That was his best game for us by a mile,” Cale said.
“He and Mitch (Davis) were really good today.
“He has the kilometres in his legs after having surgery on his hip last year and it was good to see him play so well.
“I don’t think we have seen the best of him yet, which is a bit scary.”