DUBBO Kangaroos were not expected to win the Blowes Clothing Cup colts grand final.
But they didn't get that memo.
The young 'Roos turned in an exciting performance in Saturday's decider at Ashwood Park to down minor premiers Bathurst Bulldogs 22-15.
"It's an unreal feeling," Kangaroos captain Hugh O'Leary said of the win.
"At the start of the season Bathurst put it over us easily. Last week [in the major semi-final] we had another go at them and we were up and then after the bell they put it over us. The boys kept training hard and we came out there and played footy and had fun and we did it. We came out and won the trophy."
The Bulldogs had been undefeated all season and had downed Dubbo in extra time the major semi-final 20-18 to go straight into the big game.
In the grand final some outstanding defence and entertaining intercepts helped Dubbo to the seven-point victory.
"Last game we were lacking in defence but we worked on that during the week," O'Leary explained.
"We held our line and kept them out and left a few chances and they got in. But we got in there with a few smart boys keeping their heads up and pushed through and looked after our mates."
Dubbo missed an early penalty goal attempt which meant Bathurst were first on the board after 18 minutes when Ethan Ivory nailed his three-pointer.
The hosts pushed the score out to 8-0 shortly after when, on the back of repeat phases, five-eighth Isaac Hogan was able to dive over to score.
Logan Porch ensured Dubbo had the final say in the opening period when the outside centre was able to run in a try, which Charlie Kempston converted right on the buzzer, but Bulldogs still held an 8-7 lead.
Dubbo's intent was clear early in the second period with some great passes putting winger Nathaniel Couchman over in the right corner just two minutes in.
Fullback Zarrin Galea had the crowd on their feet when he intercepted a pass 30 metres out from his own line and sprinted away to score for the visitors.
Bathurst replied quickly when Hogan scored his second minutes later and only trailed by four points with 15 minutes to play.
The two sides toughed it out and both were able to shut down some excellent attacking raids.
Dubbo had the final say when Galea potted a penalty goal with a couple of minutes left on the clock.
For Bulldogs captain Tom Flesch, it was a heart-breaking loss.
"We just didn't really play the whole 60 minutes, that was the issue," Felsch said.
"We played really well. Our structures - we talked about building a good scrum. It just didn't work out today."
The one thing Felsch was most impressed with from his team was their attitude.
"We didn't drop out heads at all," he said.
- DUBBO ROOS 22 (Logan Porch, Nathaniel Couchman, Zarrin Galea tries, Charlie Kempston 2 conv, Galea pen goal) def BATHURST BULLDOGS 15 (Isaac Hogan 2 tries, Ethan Ivory conv, pen goal).