Dubbo CYMS have finished the Group 11 regular season with a second successive loss, going down to Forbes 18-12 on Sunday.
CYMS already had the minor premiership wrapped up but after a shock 14-0 loss to Nyngan seven days earlier, most expected them to come out firing.
They never quite hit their straps though, and Forbes were looking to guarantee themselves third place with a win.
There was a slim chance they could be edged out if Parkes had a heavy win and CYMS also had a comfortable win.
That never really looked like a possibility though and Forbes showed their title defence is shaping up well.
The hosts scored the opening two tries to lead 10-0, and went to the break in front 10-6.
Early in the second half CYMS got themselves into the lead, but it didn’t last. Jason Hoswell got over the line to make it 16-12, before a late penalty extended it to 18-12.
CYMS wrapped the minor premiership up weeks ago, and were unbeaten after the first 12 rounds. They said the loss to the Tigers was a lesson but Forbes also said the game was a positive for them.
Despite the upsets CYMS will head into the finals as favourites, but the efforts of Forbes and the Tigers will give everyone confidence the Fishies can be beaten.
Tim Ryan will have to work out how to use the weekend off to prepare his troops and get them ready for a crucial rematch with one of their conquerors.