Old foes not the focus for a returning Jeffery

HEADING BACK: Kangaroos captain-coach Ben Jeffery is hunting a win when he returns to his old stomping ground to tackle Albury on Sunday.
HEADING BACK: Kangaroos captain-coach Ben Jeffery is hunting a win when he returns to his old stomping ground to tackle Albury on Sunday.

The chance to show Albury what they are missing is all about one thing for Ben Jeffery – bringing back the two points.

The former Thunder captain-coach will face his old teammates for the first time at Greenfield Park on Sunday when leading a Kangaroos outfit desperate to bounce back to winning ways.

Jeffery spent five seasons on the border, including the last two at the helm, before being told his coaching services wouldn’t be needed.

He won three premiership as a player with the club, but doesn’t want to look his return to be a distraction.

“It’s just another game,” Jeffery said.

“We are more focused on our team than theirs.

“Hopefully we can go down there, do things right and give ourselves a chance to win the game.”

Jeffery wants the win to stay in the finals race after a late slip up saw the Wagga club held to a 28-all draw by Brothers last week.

He hopes the team can respond to the disappointing end of the game.

“It’s a learning curve and hopefully the boys learnt from it,” Jeffery said.

“We need to learn how to finish games.

“It is as simple as that and make the right decisions.”

It’s not just the game against their Wagga rivals where letting in a late flurry of points has been a problem.

They did the same against Junee last month and only managed to hold on.

Jeffery is looking to turn promising signs into full performances.

“We can play good in patches but we need to play good for the whole game,” he said. “Hopefully we can go down there and put in a good performance and give ourselves a good chance of winning the game.

“If we don’t they will be very tough to beat.”

Albury have only lost once this season, to the undefeated Tumut, and are coming off a big win over Young last week.

They sit in third, five points clear of sixth-placed Kangaroos and Jeffery knows better than most the challenge that lies ahead.

The Wagga club will also be without second rower Hayden Jolliffe.

Jolliffe is out with a sternum injury, but Jeffery is confident we won't be sidelined for too long.

James Whiteley will come into the starting line-up in his place.

Jeffery is also hoping the exciting Tristan Dickson and Troy Barby come through their Riverina duties on Saturday and take their place in the team.

Meanwhile, Albury has called in Nathan Wilson to replace the injured Shannon Rupapere.

Dave Cowhan is also under an injury cloud after picking up a knee complaint.