Dubbo CYMS might have went into Saturday night's opening round of the Challenge Cup with few expectations, but the Fishies still showed they'll be a force in the statewide competition again.
CYMS, the only Group 11 side in the competition for the best clubs in the state, downed the Moree Boomerangs 50-6 at a wet Apex Oval.
Captain-coach Jarryn Powyer, who sat out the game to watch on from the sidelines, had only had a couple of training sessions with his side prior to the game but the victory and impressive if somewhat rusty showing proves the side is capable of making a run to a third successive final.
The Fishies were beaten by a powerful Guildford side in last season's final, having got one over the Owls in the inaugural decider the year before.
They started their third Challenge Cup campaign in slow fashion, as was expected for a match in early February, and Moree ran in the first try.
But CYMS soon found their footing and while the Boomerangs' intensity never dropped, the hosts ran in nine unanswered tries to secure a comfortable result.
"It was a hard game and tough and physical," stand-in captain Jyie Chapman said, the game being played in four 20-minute quarters.
"We knew the Moree boys were going to bring it, they're a physical team, and I take my hat off to them.
"They did an unreal job and I know what it feels like to travel four or five hours, we've done it before when going to Sydney or Newcastle.
"You've got to get off the bus, train, and then play and it takes it out of you. They did a terrific job."
Moree was the better side for much of the early stages but after CYMS scored right on quarter-time to level it up at 6-all, the hosts set up their win in the second quarter.
Billy Sing, a standout in the first half, was near unstoppable out wide at times and played a major role in his side piling on 22 points in the second quarter.
Footy is back at Apex Oval. It’s the first round of the #ChallengeCup and Dubbo CYMS leads Moree Boomerangs 28-6 at HT.— Nick Guthrie (@Nj_Guthrie) February 8, 2020
Was a very rusty start but CYMS has played some good footy. Billy Sing especially, he’s causing havoc. Moree definitely not lacking spirit.@WesternRams@NSWRLpic.twitter.com/gnhOz2uB6p
The Fishies went on with the job from there as Powyer rang the chances, allowing all of his 20-player lineup time on the field.
While Chapman and fellow regulars Alex Bonham, Ben Marlin, Wade Kavanagh, and Corey Cox all got plenty of minutes, a number of new faces also took their chances.
Aiden Lake showed real promise at fullback, a position which is up for grabs given Brad Pickering will be making the move to Newcastle before the new season, while five other teenagers made their first grade debuts.
As well as that, off-season recruits Claude Gordon, Isaac Gordon, EJ Fernando, Jack Kavanagh, Brody Chapman and the returning Mark Merritt all got a chance to develop combinations with their new teammates.
The impact of Kavanagh, Brody Chapman, and Merritt was noticeable as they all added plenty to the Fishies' forward pack.
"It was a great run-around and great opportunity for the younger boys to come in," Chapman said, before speaking about the forwards.
"It's unreal to have a bit of size in the side. We're a little team so it's great to have those guys with a bit of size to be a bit bigger."
FT | Dubbo CYMS marches on in #ChallengeCup. Fishies far too good for a spirited Moree Boomerangs, winning 50-6 at a wet Apex Oval.— Nick Guthrie (@Nj_Guthrie) February 8, 2020
The number of young players debuting the biggest positive. Winger Jack Allen delighted after a try and few goals in the win.@WesternRams@NSWRL
Kavanagh, the brother of current CYMS player Wade and former Queensland Cup player, joined the side from the Shellharbour Sharks and marked his return to Dubbo with a late double on Saturday night.
Wade was the other CYMS player to score a double on the night and was one of his side's best while Sing and the skipper also got through plenty of work.
Fernando and teenagers Kyjuan Crawford and Jack Allen also scored on their debuts.
A number of other first round matches on Saturday were called off due to the storms and downpour of heavy rains around the state.
In the game which were completed, Western Suburbs Rosellas defeated the Ryde Eastwood Hawks, Asquith downed the Wyong Roos, and Cessnock scored a commanding 40-0 win over North Tamworth.
- DUBBO CYMS 50 (Jack Kavanagh 2, Wade Kavanagh 2, Billy Sing, EJ Fernando, Aiden Lake, Kyjuan Crawford, Jack Allen tries; Alex Bonham 4, Allen 3 goals) defeated MOREE BOOMERANGS 6 (Peter Duncan try, Willy Fernando goal)