Phantoms taking each game as it comes despite remaining undefeated

FINALS IN REACH: Adriu Tagilala sends a pass out wide during the Phantoms' last game at home. This weekend they face old rivals in the Griffith Blacks on Saturday at No. 1 Oval. Photo: Courtney Rees
FINALS IN REACH: Adriu Tagilala sends a pass out wide during the Phantoms' last game at home. This weekend they face old rivals in the Griffith Blacks on Saturday at No. 1 Oval. Photo: Courtney Rees

KEEPING their focus will be the Phantoms’ aim when they take on the bottom-placed Griffith Blacks on Saturday afternoon. 

It is a tale of two vastly different fortunes for the neighbouring clubs. 

The Phantoms are yet to drop a game this season, while the Blacks haven’t posted a win in 2017. 

However, with the Blacks having nothing to lose, Leeton club president Bart Challacombe said there would be no room for complacency from the Phantoms. 

“Not so long ago we were in the same position as the Blacks,” he said. 

“Up until the last couple of seasons, we hadn’t won a game against them in some time. 

“We’ve turned that around and we want it to stay that way.”

The two clubs have always enjoyed a fierce rivalry each time they meet, no matter positions on the ladder. 

With the Phantoms seemingly cruising at the latter part of the season, it would be easy for them to go into the match thinking they already have it won. 

Challacombe said that wasn’t the case and the club was still keeping a lid on their undefeated position atop the Southern Inland Rugby Union table. 

The Phantoms have had a target on their back all season and that will be no different in the final three games before the finals series. 

“The Blacks don’t have anything to lose, so they will definitely be giving it all they’ve got,” Challacombe said. 

“Our boys know that is the case and they really are still in that mindset of treating each game as it comes. 

“We’re still wanting to win all of our games at home this season, so we want to keep that record in tact again this weekend. 

“It’s all of the old sporting cliches we’re adhering to … ‘take every game as it comes’, ‘don’t get too far ahead of yourself’ and ‘every week is a new challenge’. 

“We don't want to get ahead of ourselves.”

The Phantoms will still be without Siti Watkins, who remains sidelined with a rib injury. 

However, they will welcome back James Moore and Tim Rolls into the first grade side. 

In second grade, it will be a case of third playing fourth, making it the match of the day at No. 1 Oval.