It was edge of the seat stuff during the final 10 minutes of this afternoon's Blowes Clothing Cup clash between the Dubbo Kangaroos and Bathurst Bulldogs at No. 1 Oval.
A Bathurst try with eight minutes to go brought the visitors within six points of the Roos and from there on they dominated possession, with their forward pack bashing the Dubbo tryline over and over again.
But the defending premiers held firm and their celebrations at the final whistle were a mix of joy and relief as they kept their finals hopes alive with a 21-15 victory.
The afternoon had earlier began well for the Roos with Simon Hegarty converting some early pressure pressure into points when he got across the line.
James Mata's conversion made it 7-0 but the Bulldogs lifted and created numerous chances after that, mainly off the back of Izack Breen's powerful running.
The Bulldogs eventually crossed through scrumhalf Dylan Sinclair and Steve Locke's conversion got it back all square.
But shortly after the Roos were back in front through a try to Mata but a penalty right on halftime from Locke meant the Bulldogs went into the break only down by four, trailing 14-10.
It was more of the same bruising, forward dominated rugby after the break with Bathurst controlling the scrum and lineouts to continually put them into attacking areas.
But a dropped ball was scooped up by Filisone Pauta, who found Hena Tuatea who, in turn, passed to Mata who raced away to extend the lead. Mata converted his own try to make it 21-10.
Bathurst threw everything they had at Dubbo with the Roos' errors and poor discipline inviting the Bulldogs back into the match.
They eventually crossed again through Chris Plunkett but despite their best efforts they couldn't break through the Roos defence.
Full story in Monday's edition of the Daily Liberal and Western Advocate.