Wes Middleton's Macquarie Raiders went into Sunday's clash with the resurgent and imposing Nyngan Tigers looking for a result that would end their at times up and down season on a high note.
The Raiders had already been mathematically excluded from the finals after falling to Parkes the week before, but had salt rubbed into the wound when they weren't able to finish the full 80 minutes against Nyngan.
First, the team entered with only 11 players, already undermanned by injury, they suffered a further blow when they left the first half down 34 - 6, with their only points coming by way of a try by captain-coach Middleton.
"We've had a lot of injuries," The Raider's Bradley Spencer said of his side's losing effort, "It's pretty gutsy, we had a lot of players playing in two grades, but we just haven't been able to get players there today."
We started well, we held them up for the first ten, but they just outnumbered us and we had so many injuries.Bradley Spencer
When the Raiders returned to the field, they showed a more organised, energised defence and a few moments of brilliance, despite the miserable weather costing both teams a few errors.
But their numbers had also dropped to nine and the Tigers weren't willing to take it easy, hammering the Macquarie side along their unguarded flanks and racking up a half century, then dragging the scoreboard out to 70 - 6 before the horn was called early.
Buoyed by the result and the Nyngan's reserve grade premiership win earlier in the day, Nyngan's Justin Carney was happy to leave with a 'good result for the whole club', despite the downpour of familiar, 'English' weather.
"Full credit to the reserve grade boys, they've been turning up and putting the effort in all year, so yeah, a very good day for the club," Carney said.
Carney himself set up a few try assists and put another two tries of his own directly below the post, attacking down the Raider's left flank with impunity.
"It's hard to play these types of games for both clubs, obviously they had a few injuries and people out, so it's very difficult to play two games back to back, so I definitely feel for those boys, we used to have to do that in Nyngan, so I understand how it can be," Carney said.
"It's a tough game, mentally, to get through, but at the end of the day, we got the job done and we're looking towards next week."
Carney's rejuvenated Tigers side have a tough challenge ahead of them, and the Tiger's tank knows as much.
"We've got a bit of homework to do," Carney said.
"It's a new competition, this is where it all starts, obviously, we're looking at Wello, they're coming on really strong, but we're peaking at the right time as well."