ALBURY Thunder coach Josh Cale is confident his players can back bounce from the disappointment of losing top spot on the Group 9 rugby league ladder.
Cale said the reigning premier had already spoken about looking ahead to the finals rather than dwelling on Sunday’s heartbreaking 40-38 loss to Southcity at Greenfield Park.
“We just need to regroup,” he said.
“It’s disappointing to have a couple of losses late in the season but it’s not the end of the season.
“It will hurt the boys and I think we will come back harder.
“We are still in a reasonably good position.”
Albury has the bye in this weekend’s final round and, unless Southcity loses to Tumbarumba, will meet Gundagai in the qualifying final at Greenfield Park on September 6.
Forward Mitch Davis injured his ankle in the dying minutes on Sunday but remains upbeat about his chances of being fit to play the Tigers.
“He’s sore but thinks it will be OK,” Cale said.
“He will do everything to get himself up for it.”
Skipper Lou Goodwin sat out the last-minute loss to the Bulls after hurting his shoulder against Gundagai last week and is also racing against the clock to take his place in the team.
Winger Lachie Hampton will return from injury for the clash.
Albury has been in winning positions in its back-to-back losses to Gundagai and Southcity before fading in the final 10 minutes.
Cale put it down to a lack of concentration.
“It’s a fine line and a couple of things haven’t gone our way,” he said.
“We will get right over the bye and get ready for the finals.
“It’s the start of a new season for us.”
Southcity coach Daniel Fitzhenry said the Bulls weren’t looking any further ahead than Tumbarumba.
“We still have to beat Tumba,” Fitzhenry said.
“That’s one of those dangerous sort of games and we can’t start getting ahead of ourselves.”