Five unanswered tries either side of halftime helped the Dubbo Macquarie Raiders to victory over the Narromine Jets at Apex Oval on Sunday.
The Jets piled on 12 points in as many minutes before the Raiders clawed back to 12-10 at the break.
Urged by captain Kurt Fuller to show some pride in their team, the hosts came out firing after halftime, scoring three tries in 15 minutes.
Narromine continued fighting but couldn’t overcome the Raiders, who finished 34-28 victors.
“We work hard at training and he [Fuller] said we don’t go to training and get flogged for nothing,” Macquarie lock Brad Spencer said.
“We’re just lacking in our starts … it’s alright come [now] but if we’re still doing that in round seven [when they face CYMS] we’re not going to be able to contend.”
Narromine capitalised on the slow start, with Jahrryd Usher grounding a Wes Middleton grubber on the back of some sustained attack inside the Raiders’ 10.
They soon crossed again, this time through young winger Owen Kennedy, who had already scored a hat-trick in the under-18s Jets’ 36-24 loss.
But then the momentum shifted, with “clutch player” Dwayne Gordon and Sam Thorpe snagging tries against the run of play.
After the break, Jayden Harvey, Thorpe and Dalton Medcalf crossed in quick succession, before Kennedy snagged his fifth for the day.
But Macquarie were on a roll, and Jai Merritt and Gordon provided the icing on the cake. The half intercepted a pass, scattered the Jets and linked up with Gordon, who had one man – and 70 metres – to overcome. A step and a fend and Gordon was in the clear.
Middleton bagged a double in the final 10 minutes, but it was too late.
“It was a good game,” Middleton said.
“At the moment we’re just not good enough and we’ve got to learn to play for the full 80 minutes … there’s a 15 minute period in our games where we’re slacking off.
“But a lot of good efforts there … we’ve got a great bunch of boys and I wouldn't choose to be anywhere else than in Narromine.”