Albury finished a disappointing year with the best win of the season on Sunday.
The home team hammered finals-bound Gundagai, 48-16, in front of a strong crowd at Greenfield Park.
The Thunder played in charity jumpers to raise awareness about Fragile X and other related disorders, such as Fragile X Tremor Ataxia syndrome (FXTAS) and they certainly put on a show in the new look.
“Yeah, without a doubt (it was our best performance),” coach Adrian Purtell said.
“The last three weeks we’ve been building, we’ve improved in a lot of areas.”
Purtell said it was a superb team display.
“Our middles were running really hard, we played direct, which we haven’t done a lot of times during the year,” he said.
Clever halfback Shannon Rupapere was sensational, scoring three tries and setting up a handful of others in yet another five-star display.
“Shannon came up with some special plays, which he has this year, which you need in your team,” Purtell said.
Jon Huggett was his inspirational self, his bullocking charges cutting into the Tigers’ defence.
His fellow second rower Liam Wiscombe also scored a double, English prop Brad Hill kept rumbling forward, countryman Joe Lumb showed nice nice touches from dummy half, while powerful five-eighth Robbie Byatt showed his class.
The loss could have major ramifications for the Tigers when the finals start this weekend.
They suffered three injuries in the first 13 minutes and while the injured players soldiered on, it severely affected the Tigers’ play.
But nothing could take away from the Thunder’s display.
The team played like the Harlem Globetrotters at times, pinging the ball around and running the visitors ragged.
The pick of the tries occurred with only 11 minutes left as the ball raced through a number of hands before Wiscombe stepped his way through.
The Thunder finished with three straight wins, but it was the series of single-figure losses which killed their season by late May.
“It’s up to us boys now to have a massive off-season and come back firing next year,” Purtell said.