If Jimmy McGinty, Gene Hackman's character out of the unfairly underrated football movie The Replacements, was at Pride Park on Saturday he'd have looked on with the sort of wry grin you only ever seen from an old coach.
Dubbo Roos played with miles and miles of heart, as coach McGinty used to say, in a tense 11-8 victory over Orange City in their round two Blowes Clothing Cup clash.
Played in consistent rain and under lights, the visitors held on to their slender three point advantage for the final 37 minutes of the game, and did so while down a man for 10 minutes too.
Tim Beach was handed a yellow card in the 52nd minute for taking out a flying Eman Rodriguez in pursuit of the ball to reduce Dubbo to 14 in a key moment of the game.
The Lions couldn't take advantage though.
Drop balls in slippery conditions and a lack of continuity, in their first game of 2020 and with a host of new names, hurt the hosts, but Viv Paasi's boys kept on coming, and at the death very nearly stole victory.
Pressing Roos line still down by three points, City shifted the ball right and when Keegan Harding drifting he popped a clever little grubber kick in behind the Roos defence.
Inside centre Rakai Tuheke charged after the ball and claimed a try, but the officials ruled the Roos defender got there first and grounded the ball before the Lions centre.
It was good to see the heart the boys played with.City skipper Duncan Young.
"I didn't see it, obviously those ones are hard to tell. You like to think you get those ones but you have to go with the ref's decision," City skipper Duncan Young said.
"I was on the bottom of a ruck, so I had no clue," Roos captain Shaun McHugh said.
"But I looked at Duncan and he said they're over. They're always close ones, we were just lucky it went our way."
But luck had nothing to do with the other 79 minutes, Roos' gritty showing earning them a victory at Pride Park and an unblemished record heading into a round three bye and then another huge trip to Orange, this time to take on Emus at Endeavour Oval.
McHugh was thrilled with his side's desperation against a City side that's markedly better than the outfit that's claimed back-to-back spoons in the Central West Rugby Union's top tier in the last two years.
He said the atrocious weather made life difficult for both sides' attack, but a rock solid scrum and a willingness to work hard without the ball, particularly in the first half when City had a wealth of possession, ensured Roos nabbed the valuable points.
"I can't remember the last time we were two-from-two ... probably 2014," McHugh said, referencing the last time Roos won the Blowes Clothing Cup.
"We've been building the last two years but haven't enjoyed the results on the back of a lot of injuries."
We've been building the last two years but haven't enjoyed the results on the back of a lot of injuries.Roos captain Shaun McHugh
City opened the scoring through hooker Darcy Holmes to shoot out to an early 5-0 lead, which was kicked out to 8-0 thanks to a Harding penalty goal nearly 20 minutes in.
The right boot of Roos five-eighth Jack Styles kept Dubbo in the game during the first term though, his two penalty goals ensuring the visitors went into the break down by just two points.
And almost immediately after oranges Roos hit the lead.
On the back of an attacking scrum, Roos went right and City's defence shifted left accordingly but Styles turned a rampaging Filisone Pauta back on the inside and against the grain the rep star charged over to score almost next to the sticks.
Styles missed the relatively easy conversion, then had another attempt at penalty goal hit the timber - but luckily those missed five points didn't come back to haunt McHugh's men in their 11-8 triumph.
"We haven't had a pre-season and this is our first hit-out. Getting points on the board helped our confidence and it showed we're here to play," Young added.
"It was good to see the heart the boys played with."
No doubt McGinty agrees.
DUBBO ROOS 11 (Filisone Pauta try; Jake Styles 2 pen goals) def ORANGE CITY LIONS 8 (Darcy Holmes try; Keegan Harding pen goal)