By Les Muir

TUMUT coach Jarrad Teka says the Blues are back on track for a top-three finish after overwhelming Junee 40-26 at Twickenham on Sunday.

Teka was full of admiration for the team following a late surge of points that left Junee well and truly stranded.

Under pressure at times in the first half, Tumut led only 18-12 at halftime and were clinging to a 24-22 advantage midway through the second half.

However, in a grandstand finale, the Blues gave the Diesels the slip when skipper Adam Pearce scored a decisive try in the 66th minute before Brayden Draber wrapped it up.

Spearheaded by prop Tamati Ioane, Tumut finished far too strongly for Junee, according to Teka.

“We had the right mind set,” Teka said.

“The boys played it out to the end.”

Currently fourth on the table, Tumut is in a position to climb higher with “winnable” games against Tumbarumba, Temora and Brothers in succession before playing Albury on July 24.

“We’re looking at the top three,” Teka said.

“That’s exactly where we want to be.”

Not for the first time this year, Ioane was in commanding form and created headaches for the Diesels.

Likewise, skipper Pearce and hooker Jacob Toppin were stars for the winners, while Matt Hands tried his hardest to get Junee home.

With 15 points, Tumut is three clear of fifth-placed Albury (12) as Junee clings on in seventh spot on 10 points.


TUMUT 40 (M Esera 2, R Luke 2, A Pearce, J McGrath, B Draber tries; J Toppin 5, R Luke goals) d JUNEE 26 (D Foley 2, T Charlton, M Sutton, M Hands tries; M Hands 3 goals) at Twickenham. Gate: $2700


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