ANOTHER week, another landslide victory, but Albury is definitely not just counting down to the Group 9 finals.
Albury coach Josh Cale said any suggestion the Thunder was merely “going through the motions” on the way to a predictable crack at a third straight title was totally wrong.
Reflecting on a towering 54-4 win over Junee at Laurie Daley Oval on Saturday, Cale said yesterday the Thunder retained their desire and hunger for success.
“They (the players) never get sick of winning,” Cale said.
“They want to make the most of it (success).”
Only beaten once in 10 games this season, Albury continued its barnstorming streak with a crushing nine tries to one drubbing of the Diesels.
Despite “greasy” conditions, the Thunder gave Junee a football lesson, steaming to a 26-0 lead by half-time before more than doubling their tally in the second half.
Coming a week after Albury thumped Kangaroos 48-10 at Greenfield Park, Saturday’s rampage highlighted the widening rift between the best and the rest in the premiership.
Likewise, the Diesels for the second week in a row were made the whipping post for a serious Group Nine contender.
Blown away 54-6 by Southcity in the previous round, Junee was also unable to compete with the power and precision of the Thunder.
Junee president Leo McCarthy later gave a perfect assessment of the situation.
“It’s just a case of a very good side up against a side battling its guts out,” McCarthy said.
“Our boys put up a good effort but they were just too good.”
As always, McCarthy’s words rang true.
At a time when Junee is trying to ride out a turbulent season, which includes losing two coaches, the Diesels are not running for cover.
Speaking to Fairfax yesterday, Cale gave Junee a compliment.
“They (Diesels) put it to us in the first half,” Cale said.
“We (Albury) had to work for it.”
Significantly, Cale is adamant the intense competition for team places did not allow any player to have a free ride.
“There’s a bunch of five or six blokes in reserve grade really pushing for spots (in first grade),” Cale said.
“They keep them (the players) on their toes.”
Surprisingly, Cale even admitted Saturday’s shellacking of the Diesels provided “lessons” for the Group Nine champions.
“There were things in the first half that needed to be fixed,” he said.
“The good part is that the players did fix them.”
Yet again, Albury shared the tries around on Saturday, with Chris Seaton and Lou Goodwin bagging two each, while Tom Wishart, Elijah Tipene, Jake Grace, Joe Silafau and Jon Huggett scored a try apiece.
Skipper Goodwin, Seaton and Silafau were named alongside playmaker Willie Heta as the stars for the Thunder.