Albury Thunder posted its best win with a 34-6 hiding of finals contenders, Tumut, on Saturday.
It was only the home team’s third win after five successive losses.
The Thunder ran in six tries to one as it followed sidelined coach Adrian Purtell’s plan of playing attacking football.
“We tried to control the ball to start off with and use the momentum off that,” back-rower Jon Huggett said.
“As we started to get a roll on, we started throwing the ball around and it worked wonders.”
The Thunder went into the game second last, just a win above Young, but despite its position, it had the aim of winning the final five matches.
“We’re trying to come home and win the rest of the games for the year,” Huggett said.
“It started pretty well yesterday (Saturday), it’s just about enjoying our footy, throw the ball around and have a bit of fun with it.”
The attacking mentality certainly worked as the Thunder carried a 12-0 lead into half-time after tries to five-eighth Robbie Byatt and Huggett.
However, the Blues hit back when Riley Sturt scored shortly after the break.
The Thunder replied when halfback Shannon Rupapere scored midway through the half and sealed the upset when Cian Timmins grabbed another two minutes later.
Utility Rhys Dawe continued his outstanding day by scoring late after he bagged a hat-trick in reserve grade.
The pacy Keanu Wighton rounded out the demolition in the final minute.
He also kicked five goals for a haul of 14 points.
Barnstorming back-rower Liam Wiscombe consistently trampled through the Blues’ pack, while mid-season recruit Matt Byatt was a workhorse in the front-row, providing tremendous drive through the centre.
Brother Robbie was also strong.
“Robbie stepped up in the halves, he controlled the game a bit better and gave us more direction,” Huggett said.
The win was even more significant given coach Purtell again missed with a niggling hamstring complaint.
Albury’s gritty performance, with no chance of playing finals, again highlighted how frustrating it’s been with the series of narrow losses.
“We’ve had confidence that we could win games, it’s just those crucial moments where we’d fail at that last hurdle,” Huggett said.
The Thunder now faces the three teams nearest it.
Albury will fancy its chances on the road against Young, followed by another long trip against Temora late in the month.
The Thunder then returns home against Wagga Kangaroos and Gundagai.