As Dubbo CYMS reserve grade coach Joel Rapley said, local derbies are always fiery.
There’s always plenty on the line when the Fishies and Macquarie meet but there was even more to play for on Saturday at Apex Oval with the two sides sitting at the top of the Group 11 reserve grade ladder.
But Rapley, who’s side went into the game in second, he wanted to take the occasion and emotion out of the contest.
His side responded in style, defeating their rivals 26-10 and leapfrogging them into top spot in the process.
A first half blitz was key in the win, and while the Raiders were fired up and seemed focused on putting shots on at times, the Fishies remained focus and shot out to a 20-4 lead.
“We tried to not let it go to our heads a little and not go off our heads at all,” Rapley said post-game.
“There’s only a few weeks to go so you never want suspensions.
“But it’s a local derby, it’s always fiery. Most of the boys are mates but out there no one gives in.”
Macquarie did to go into the game missing a few players, CYMS could hardly be stronger.
As well as having its core group who have been there for a number of seasons, CYMS had Billy Sing feature in his first game since the first round while the likes of Corey Drew and Viliame Turuva were also available.
It was one of the regulars, halfback Nick Karydis, who opened the scoring courtesy of an intercept while it was soon 10-0 as Turuva raced away down the wing after a swift Fishies attack.
CYMS, playing in Indigenous round jerseys, continued to dominate and Peter Karydis and the barnstorming Ilisoni Vonomateiratu also crossed before the break.
The Raiders got one back before half-time through the hard-working Brendan Chapman but they failed to make real any impact on CYMS’ defence in the second stanza.
Both sides scored late on with the tries, ironically, being scored by a player named Luke Taylor. However, it was the Fishies’ Taylor and his team who were the far more happy when the full-time whistle sounded.
“We were really good,” Rapley said, his side producing one of the more complete reserve grade performances of the season.
“We dominated most aspects of the game and we knew Macquarie would be tough.
“We seemed to get the job done and we’ll probably face them in a few weeks so it’s good for us to get this one.”
A win in the final round will almost certainly hand the Fishies the minor premiership, something Rapley wanted after claiming the title last season.
“We want that week off in the first week of finals so this was a big game for us,” he said.
“If we can get the win against Nyngan next week we can hopefully achieve that.”
The Raiders can’t finish worse than second this season and face Wellington, currently in third, in the final round. They will hope to have the likes of Chris Daley and Blake Frost back next weekend.