Saturday’s under 18s derby victory was far from pretty but it is one which could hand Dubbo CYMS a massive psychological edge before the Group 11 finals.
After defeating Macquarie 22-6 on Saturday the Fishies moved with a point of third but Wellington’s win on Sunday means CYMS is certain to finish the regular season in fourth.
That means a place in the elimination semi-final and the opponents there may well again be the Raiders.
With that match just two weeks away, Saturday’s result will be fresh in the mind and that is a massive boost for the Bernard Wilson-coached CYMS outfit.
“It was a bit sloppy but we got the job done,” Fishies’ star five-eighth Matt Burton said.
“We’re getting there slowly but we’ve still got to work on a few things. But I do think we’ll get there.
“We’re fourth and we need to finish strong and win that semi.”
Burton, who has been back at CYMS in the second half of the year after taking out the SG Ball with the Penrith Panthers under 18s, was far from dominant on Saturday but guided his side around and kicked well all game.
It was the Fishies forwards who set the platform after the Raiders opened the scoring in a sometimes heated fixture.
CYMS fullback Harry Blake made a mess of a Raiders bomb and allowed Clayton Daley to cross but that was as good as it got for Macquarie.
In a match riddled with errors and penalties, CYMS led 10-6 at half-time and then tries to the impressive Joseph Clarke and Burton, inside the final five minutes, made sure of the result.
“We kept turning up but it was just a sloppy game,” Burton said, before speaking about being home.
“I love coming back and playing for CYMS, it’s a good club and I enjoy it.”
Halves Daley and Kyjuan Crawford were full of effort but the Raiders outfit lacked the size up front to fully test CYMS. However, only a gargantuan swing in four-and-against in the final round will see Macquarie miss out on fifth.
Forbes has the 18s minor premiership wrapped up while Parkes and Wellington will finish second and third respectively.