Thunder's Willie Heta free to roam in surprise Cale move

Thunder coach Josh Cale has sprung a surprise in naming star playmaker Willie Heta to line up at fullback against Brothers at Greenfield Park tomorrow.

Thunder coach Josh Cale has sprung a surprise in naming star playmaker Willie Heta to line up at fullback against Brothers at Greenfield Park tomorrow.

ALBURY Thunder has made a surprise move by switching star playmaker Willie Heta to fullback for tomorrow’s Group 9 rugby league clash against Brothers at Greenfield Park.

With Heta and Ben Jeffery at home at fullback or five-eighth, coach Josh Cale said yesterday the reigning premier had nothing to lose.

“A lot of sides are targeting Willie this year and we just thought it would free him up a bit and allow him to roam around the field on both sides,” Cale said.

“Benny and Willie are both experienced and, if it doesn’t seem to work, we can always change it back.

“It’s a bit of a trial, I guess.

“Willie played a lot at fullback in New Zealand and Benny was really good at five-eighth against Temora.

“There are more pros than cons.”

Heta returns to the line-up after being unavailable due to commitments in New Zealand last weekend and will put even more pressure on a Brothers’ backline that has struggled for cohesion over the past month.

They were crushed by Southcity 60-6 last weekend and lost to Gundagai 52-20 the previous week.

Cale expects a more competitive combination tomorrow.

“Brothers have some quality players,” he said.

“Blake Dunn has played country and Joe Williams played a lot of NRL.

“They will be desperate like most sides around that five border line.

“At the start of the year they put it to us and we were lucky to be up by four points at half-time.

“They were definitely the better side in the first-half.”

Dunn said Brothers had resisted the temptation to wield the axe after two ordinary performances.

“We will stick solid,” Dunn said.

“We have a lot of confidence in the blokes we have and will give everyone the chance to deliver.

“In this competition you need 80-minute efforts each week.

“Albury is the top side and we need to turn up with intensity.”

In other matches, Young will be looking to hit back hard against Junee, Gundagai should record an easy win against Tumut, Southcity will be too strong for Cootamundra and Tumbarumba play host to Temora.

Kangaroos have the bye.

Benny and Willie are both experienced and, if it doesn’t seem to work, we can always change it back. It’s a bit of a trial I guess. Willie played a lot at fullback in New Zealand and Benny was really good at five-eighth against Temora.

JOSH CALE

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