Ask Cameron Greenhalgh back in round 11, after Forbes went down to Narromine at Cale Oval, what was then the Jets’ first win of 2018, and the Magpies coach was still pretty adamant the black and whites would be where they are now – in with a shout on grand final day.
He may have been the only one though.
Who loses to the wooden spoon favourites and then has any hope of making a run at the final game of the season?
The answer is almost always no-one. It just doesn’t happen.
But the Magpies’ 31-28 loss to the Jets was, for Forbes, like that line from Harvey Dent out of the The Dark Knight movie, you know the one – the night is always darkest just before the dawn.
That dawn came two weeks later via a 28-10 win over the Tigers at Nyngan and since then it’s been all sunshine and victories for the black and white.
It’s quite phenomenal what they’re doing and what they’re showing me at training.Forbes coach Cameron Greenhalgh on his side's unity.
The swoopers haven’t lost a game, a five game winning streak. There’s 206 points in the bank, just 56 against.
Greenhalgh knew his side’s luck would turn.
“We weren’t being beaten by much,” he said.
“We did get together and have a yarn about what was going on and what wasn’t working and obviously Jake (Grace) coming back into the side gives the boys a lift.”
Grace missed a three-week stretch mid-season, Forbes lost all three games including that shocker against the Jets at Narromine.
“There’s just a lot of belief in themselves, it’s a funny thing,” Greenhalgh continued.
“The more they’re with one and other the stronger they’re getting.
“It’s quite phenomenal what they’re doing and what they’re showing me at training.”
As a result the Magpies hold no fear of the minor premiers, defending champs, Dubbo CYMS.
“We’re going to come over Sunday and put our best foot forward, and as Gracey said if we play our best it’s good enough to beat CYMS,” Greenhalgh said.
“It’s been a good week so far. We’ve had a couple of get-togethers this week and we’re heading in the right direction. The boys’ minds are on the job, which is good.”
CYMS has the wood on Forbes this year though, a 40-12 win and then a 60-14 bloodbath making for pretty ordinary reading if you’ve got one white eye and the other black.
“Those efforts, we’ve flushed them,” Greenhalgh interjects, determined to look ahead rather than dwell on the regular season.
“We’ve moved on, And that’s the good part about these guys, they don’t dwell on it.
“Semis is a whole new ball game and we’re in the last one at the end of the year and that’s what counts. If we put in a good performance we’ll push CYMS to the limits.”