Albury made it two important home wins on the trot to see Tumut slide to fourth on Saturday.
Since a heavy loss to Ag College last month, the Steamers have scored big wins over Griffith and now the Bulls.
A powerful second half performance ensured the 45-17 victory at Murrayfield.
Albury scored the opening two tries and took a 14-5 lead into half-time before really accelerating away from their rivals in the second stanza.
Coach Paul Musarra was pleased to see them continue their roll towards a finals berth.
“It was a good win,” Musarra said
“They got out of the blocks, scored two good tries then it was a bit of a dog fight for a while when they scored a good try late, but in the second half we stuck to our defensive pattern quite well and won well.”
Albury missed a couple of good opportunities to increase their lead in the first half due to handling errors and Musarra thought the back line got more involved as the scoreline started to balloon out.
“They ran some really good angles and the passes stuck so we scored some good tries,” he said.
Dave Cooper-Dunn was outstanding for the Steamers getting through plenty of work in both attack and defence.
He’s made a huge impact since returning to the club this season.
Sam Allen led the way of the scoreboard with four tries.
He’s been influential in a number of roles this season but with Richard Manion back Musarra is unsure what the best fit for the team is.
“We’ve got him popping up in different areas, not just at 10,” he said.
“He’s quality and I’ve just got a bit of a dilemma and keep him there or bring Richie back in close.
“We will see what we do there but Sammy is just so genuine and could play in 10, 12, 13 or 15.”
The win all but guarantees the Steamers a place in the finals.
With two rounds to go they are nine points clear of sixth placed Griffith and have games against the bottom two sides, Wagga City and CSU to come, while the Blacks tackle Tumut and minor premiers Waratahs.
After missing out on playing finals after results didn’t go their way in the last round of last season, it will be the club’s first appearance since their 2015 premiership.
Meanwhile the Bulls have slipped from second to fourth in the past three weeks.
They came into the clash with Waratahs unbeaten in half a season before losing them, Ag College and now Albury in successive weeks and now face a long trip to Griffith.