Injuries a slight worry

TASK AHEAD: While the Phantoms got a win over the Griffith Blacks last Friday night, their attention now turns to the Albury Steamers. Photo: Liam Warren

TASK AHEAD: While the Phantoms got a win over the Griffith Blacks last Friday night, their attention now turns to the Albury Steamers. Photo: Liam Warren

THE Phantoms will have to use every bit of fire power they have this weekend to defeat the Albury Steamers. 

Leeton is currently sitting pretty at the top of the Southern Inland Rugby Union first grade ladder, but they know with that comes a target on their back. 

The side is currently struggling with injury to key players, including Bill Bevan who has a quad injury and will be out for the next few matches. 

In some good news for the club, Simon Vunilagi will return this weekend after he was suspended earlier this month. 

Joe Ratu will possibly need to sit out another week through injury, but Joe Kafoa-Pene may return to the side. 

Club president Bart Challacombe said the injuries were causing a slight headache. 

“It’s not ideal, but hopefully if they are happening now, it won’t be something we’re having to worry about near the end of the season,” he said. 

The Phantoms secured another good win over the Blacks last Friday under lights and will be hoping that form continues against Albury at No. 1 Oval this weekend.

Challacombe said it was crucial for the Phantoms to win all of their home games from here on in. 

“We know that sitting on top of the ladder means there is a bit of a target on your back,” he said. 

“It’s just how it goes, but hopefully that gives our guys the motivation to keep that position.”

Albury are currently fourth on the SIRU table and Challacombe was aware they were a much-improved side from 2016. 

“The Steamers, like Leeton, are coming off a round five victory last weekend. 

Albury was able to shut down Tumut to defeat them 36-29.

“We’re aware they have definitely improved from last season,” Challacombe said. 

“Albury have a few good players and they’ve got a few rep players in there too.  

“I think our guys are going to lift.

“We’ll need to shut down their backs and hopefully get the ball out wide to our guys.”

Game times

Leeton No. 1 Oval 

  • First grade: 3.15pm
  • Second grade: 2pm
  • Women’s sevens: 1.30pm 
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