Dubbo CYMS coach Shawn Townsend knows his side is a long way from the finished product but Saturday's performance proved the Fishies remain one of the very best sides in the region.
Some of the pieces might have changed within CYMS but the relentless energy for 80 minutes that has been synonymous with the club for the best part of two decades remains in a big way.
And while CYMS weren't perfect on Saturday afternoon at No. 1 Oval they proved far too strong for Parkes and ran out 40-10 winners in the opening match of the 2021 Group 11 season.
There was pace and power from the Fishies and a huge amount of impact from the bench.
After a frenetic first 20 minutes the scores were locked up at 10-all and Parkes, despite missing star trio Chad Porter, Sam Dwyer and Jacob Smede through injury, were in the ascendency with Dennis Spathis and Jack Creith pulling the strings.
But Townsend turned to his bench and boom off-season recruits James Stanley and Brydon Ramien delivered.
While Stanley battled some handling errors the physicality and metre-eating through the middle he provided got CYMS on the front foot while Ramien continually punched through the defensive line.
"We gained a bit of momentum when James and Brydon came through the middle," Townsend said.
"They're big, powerful kids who are hard to handle so we got some momentum off the back of those blokes going forward."
CYMS went into the break with an 18-10 lead and went on with the job in the second half.
The Spacemen brought much of the pain on themselves during the second 40, with continual handling errors stunting any chance to build some momentum of their own.
"We didn't complete any sets in the second half," coach Brent Wood lamented.
"We've only got ourselves to blame. There's nothing else to it."
A penalty goal from former Macquarie captain-coach Wes Middleton had opened the scoring for Parkes before a perfect cross-field kick from Brad Pickering landed on Jeremy Thurston's chest and got the hosts on the board inside 10 minutes.
The glad grew to 10-2 when Jarryn Powyer went over but Parkes soon gained the upper-hand, finding holes in the CYMS defence and getting back to all square through tries to Spathis and winger Raiden Choice.
A 40-20 from Creith soon after had Parkes right on the attack again but the chance came to nothing and that proved to be as good as things got for the Spacemen.
Off the back of a penalty CYMS again scored down their left through Josh Toole and after some powerhouse running from Stanley, Pickering scored right on half-time to put his side up 18-10.
Only minutes after the break Stanley went on another barnstorming run and while carrying Parkes defenders was able to stretch out and plant the ball down for another four-pointer.
It was virtually one-way traffic from there as Pickering grabbed his second and Ali Beale and Corey Drew also crossed.
Beale, who started at fullback, was one of a number of attacking threats while Hamish Astill was key from hooker and got his side moving forward at speed while also using his kicking game well.
In a show of the options Townsend has at his disposal, Alex Bonham shifted from halfback to hooker while Astill had a stint on the bench and Jack Smith shifted from lock into the halves and partnered Pickering.
"It's not the finished product. We've got things to work on," Townsend said.
"We want to use the footy a bit more. We got pegged down and bogged down at times but that's because we're new to it. We'll get better and we want to move the footy."
- DUBBO CYMS 40 (Brad Pickering 2, Jeremy Thurston, Josh Toole, Jarryn Powyer, James Stanley, Ali Beale, Corey Drew tries; Pickering 4 goals) defeated PARKES SPACEMEN 10 (Dennis Spathis, Raiden Choice tries; Wes Middleton goal)
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