Waratahs found themselves in an unusual position on Saturday but still managed to maintain their unbeaten streak.
The Wagga side have dominated Southern Inland competition so far this season, but had to come from behind at half-time against Leeton at Leeton No.1 Oval.
The premiers scored the last two tries of the second half to take a 17-14 lead into the break before Waratahs fired early.
Two quick tries put them on the front foot to help them on the way top a 38-22 victory.
Coach Richard Skellern was pleased to come away with another win, but admitted there is plenty to work on.
“It was a tough day and it was really game,” Skellern said.
“They scored three tries from our mistakes but that is life and it happens and there is a little bit of work to do there.”
Waratahs almost spoiled Leeton’s undefeated season in last year’s one-point grand final loss but the Wagga club were able to get another back as they build towards their second premiership in three seasons.
In another change to was has become the norm this season, it was the Waratahs forward pack that dominated on Saturday.
Their back line had been firing on all cylinders, but it wasn’t a stand out day for their usually slick outside men.
“We dropped a lot of ball in our back line, we didn’t fire in our back line today,” Skellern said.
“Our timing and execution was off but it is all easily fixed.
“But our forwards played exceptionally well.”
Jake Eaglesham led the way.
The former Bill Castle Medal winner has rediscovered the form that saw him named the competition’s best in his last season with the Wagga club in 2014.
After moving to flanker in recent weeks, Eaglesham’s strong defence helped slow the dangerous Phantoms.
When put under pressure, Skellern was pleased with how they responded in the second half.
“It is good to stay on top and keep the momentum rolling on,” he said.
Sam Bunny and Blake Hart both scored doubles in the win with Hart continuing his advantage at the top of the competition’s tryscoring list despite missing a month with a broken toe.
It could be their last game away from Conolly Rugby Complex for the season.
They tackle Griffith there next Saturday and will play host to the major semi-final.
The winner of that will then host the grand final on August 18.
Meanwhile Leeton will be looking to hit back when they travel to Wagga to face Ag College.