Dubbo CYMS had to do it the hard way in Sunday’s Group 11 grand final.
Outnumbered in the stands by an incredible amount of travelling fans and outnumbered on the field due to players going down injured, the Fishies toughed it out and downed the Nyngan Tigers 34-18.
That desire to play for each other is something coach Tim Ryan has drummed into his players in the five years he has been at the helm, and post-game he couldn’t have been more proud of his team.
“I’ve spoken to a few of them about how I’ve seen them grow. I wanted them to be good players but I wanted them to be good men as well,” he said.
“I’ve seen a lot of them develop from when they were around 18 and now they’re 23 or 24 and I’ve had them for five years so to see them become good people is a great thing.”
That sentiment was echoed by a number of players after the win.
The core group of CYMS’ 2017 premiership-winning side has been a part of each of Ryan’s five seasons as coach. In each of those years the Fishies have made the grand final, winning three titles.
Jyie Chapman, Kieran Cubby-Shipp, Jarryn Powyer and stalwart Luke Jenkins have been involved in each of the Ryan-led five deciders, while Ben Marlin, Jordan Reynolds and Alex Roanyne have been a part of the past four.
Fullback Cubby-Shipp has not only played in five straight deciders, he’s now scored tries in the past four.
He grabbed CYMS’ first on Sunday before battling through the rest of the game with a severely corked thigh.
“We already had two blokes off so you’ve got to dig deep,” Cubby-Shipp said of his injury.
“You look around at your mates and you know they’re struggling too so you’ve just got to stay on.
“I’m over the moon. We spend every week with each other and to come out and win together like this, it’s great.”
Prop Jarryn Powyer, like most of the CYMS players, was another left bloodied and bruised post-match after leading from the front yet again against Nyngan’s powerful and heavier pack.
“We’re pretty much family at CYMS,” he said.
“We’ve been together for four or five years and I’ve loved every minute of it. We do it tough together at training every week and that makes it even more sweet when we’re here.”