Phantoms v Albury Steamers

The Phantoms smashed Albury in a 107 to 0 victory and made sure that Albury would never forget their trip to Leeton.

The Phantoms started the match strong with three tries in the first ten minutes and Albury looked grim.

POWERHOUSE: Noa Rabici proved unstoppable, scoring six tries against Albury by the end of the match. Photo: Ron Arel

POWERHOUSE: Noa Rabici proved unstoppable, scoring six tries against Albury by the end of the match. Photo: Ron Arel

Those first ten minutes not only set the pace of the match on Saturday between the two teams, but ultimately sealed the Steamers fate and put the Phantoms on a course that would end with a 107-0 victory.

ON A MISSION: Josevata Tuidreke powers past Albury's line with absolutely nothing they could do to stop him. Photo: Ron Arel

ON A MISSION: Josevata Tuidreke powers past Albury's line with absolutely nothing they could do to stop him. Photo: Ron Arel

The contest grew to be well beyond lopsided and as the minutes wore on it became obvious that Albury stood little chance against the battle-ready Phantoms.

When halftime arrived, the teams took a welcome respite from the match.

Leeton reviewed their performance, prepared to fine tune their attack from lessons learned in the first half and were ready to hit back hard.

Albury, on the other hand looked for a miracle.

The Phantoms hit back hard in the second half, and were able to dissect any attack Albury had the courage to attempt.

However the effort expended in the first half by the Phantoms had started to take a toll.

The tries continued to roll in, but the pace began to slow.

While pleased with the score, Phantoms coach Marika Vunibaka looked to every minute detail looking for ways to improve the team’s cohesiveness.

“Come second half, they started to think differently,” Vunibaka said.

“They think it’s going to be easy and they let the pressure off.”

Talk on the sidelines and on the bench quickly turned to the question that even Albury began to wonder, would the Phantoms break 100 in the match.

“Against Albury, that’s huge for us,” Vunibaka said.

The loss to the Steamers three years ago was not forgotten by the club.

As the clock wound its way towards the end Leeton edged ever closer to the century mark.

The breaking point hit with two minutes left on the clock and Leeton realized that the Shire Council should have purchased a scoreboard with three digits per team for just such an occasion.

In the final seconds of the match, Albury proved they still had some fight left and were going to try and not leave Leeton scoreless.

The Phantoms were ready and regained possession of the ball before walking from the field victors.

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