Albury-Wodonga Steamers lose to Tumut in SIRU clash

Tumut has kept the pressure on for a top three finish after a 55-31 win over Albury-Wodonga Steamers at Jarrah Oval on Saturday.

The talented James Devlin provided some anxious moments for the Tumut defence at Tumut on Saturday.

The talented James Devlin provided some anxious moments for the Tumut defence at Tumut on Saturday.

Only percentage separates the Bulls and Wagga City in the fight for third and a second chance comes finals time.

Both teams claimed wins on Saturday, but the victory against the fifth-placed Steamers wasn’t all just about finals placings for Bulls coach Morgan Grivas.

He was thrilled with another impressive attacking display.

“I’m really happy with the way we were able to put some points on,” Grivas said.

Harrison Friswell led the attack from five-eighth and crossed for a hat-trick while Dan Dowson and Joe Ioane both scoring doubles.

While there was plenty of points in the Bulls, Grivas was disappointed that his team allowed Albury to score so many points.

“Defensively we probably didn’t aim up across the full length of the match, as we should have, but they’ve got some pretty classy players like (Richard) Manion and (James) Devlin that ran their side really well,” he said.

“They did a good job of putting points on when we gave then the opportunity.”

The Bulls started well in both halves, taking a 22-10 into the second stanza, but they couldn’t quite shake the Steamers.

Dowson had one of his best games for the season while wingers Adrian O’Brien and Will McLennan-Dye impressed the coach.

Third place will all but be decided when the Bulls travel to tackle City at Conolly Rugby Complex on Saturday.

Tumut has a terrible recent record in finals, losing four straight in two seasons.

With that in mind, Grivas is once again eyeing the second chance finishing third provides.

“It was important for us to not only get the result but to continue to build on the past couple of weeks and try and make sure we are confident in the way we are doing things,” he said.

“Every team wants the second chance in the finals, if they are able to get it, and our record over the past two years in finals hasn’t been very good.

“We’ve given ourselves that second chance and not made use of it at all and gone out with two losses.

“When we come to finals there is going to be a lot of pressure on us to turn that around and giving ourselves that second chance is vital.”

Albury are still comfortably in fifth but with games against top two teams Leeton and Waratahs to come in the last two rounds before the finals series, Ag College remain a chance of knocking them out.

The Steamers should regain several players for next weekend’s clash.