Tim Ryan expects Sunday’s grand final to be the biggest challenge his Dubbo CYMS side has faced in years.
While the Fishies are undefeated up to this point in 2018 and lay claim to being the best club side in the state after winning the NSW Challenge Cup, Ryan is incredibly wary of the Forbes Magpies heading into the 2018 decider.
Ryan’s side has crushed the Magpies in the two previous meetings this season but the men in black and white head into the game on the back of a four-game winning run, racking up 178 points in that time and conceding just 46.
“They’re going fantastic. They’re flogging everyone,” Ryan said.
“This is going to be the greatest challenge we’ve faced in years.”
“You look at how they’re going and they’ve just smashed everyone so it’s a massive challenge for us.”
CYMS is contesting it’s eight successive grand final and it’s sixth straight with Ryan at the helm.
There has been plenty of tests for the coach to deal with this year, mainly a long list of injuries and a Challenge Cup campaign which gave the side a hectic schedule during the middle of the year.
“This one is all different,” Ryan said.
“We started in January with a group of guys and it’s been a great year. Off the field we’ve had a great time as well.
“Now we need everyone to play well against an in-form team but we’re looking forward to it.”
The Fishies had their final training session before the decider overnight, with a number of positions to be sorted there.
Ryan has a squad of 20 at his disposal, with the likes of Matt Burton, Ben Marlin and Corey Drew among those all battling for a spot in the final 17.
“In one sense it’s good because we’ve got our reserve grade in so no one should miss a game but everyone wants to be in that top 17,” he said.
“It’s been an exciting challenge and we’ve all been looking forward to this.”
There are many similarities between this grand final and the 2016 decider, when the Magpies shocked a previously unbeaten CYMS to cap off a stellar late season charge.
To avoid a similar result, Ryan said his side can’t afford any lapses.
“It’s the whole 80. It’s going to be a massive battle and we’ve got to be on,” he said.
While all the focus is on the looming clash, Ryan did take time to say his six years at the helm has gone incredibly quick. A win on Sunday would give him a fourth title in that time and would cap off what could be a massive day for the club.
“To have three grades in again is a great thing,” he said.
“There’s great people here who do a lot of work off the field … it’s a pleasure to be a part of.”
A second successive title win will also give Dubbo CYMS a shot at winning the Clayton Cup, the prize awarded the most well-performed club in the Country Rugby League each season.
Kick-off in Sunday’s main fixture is at 3pm.