The Dubbo Rhinos fell just short against the Parkes Boars on Friday night in round five of the New Holland Cup going down 24-10.
Fog and a storm made Dubbo's No. 1 Oval field a tricky playing surface and the Boars struck first after 22 minutes when fly-half Luke Bevan provided a brilliant run to score under the posts before converting his own try to make the score 7-0.
The resilient Rhinos would hit back through Nash Forgione as he too would score under the posts and Dale Smith calmly slotted the extra points to tie the game.
Ill-discipline from both sides saw constant penalties blown throughout the whole match but with three minutes left in the first half, Bevan nailed a penalty shot at goal to give the visitors a 10-7 lead at the end of the half.
More of the same discipline from both sides gave the Rhinos their penalty shot at goal which Smith kicked to level the scores at 10-a-piece.
Early in the second half, Dubbo would have chances of their own with Smith slicing a penalty shot as the Rhinos camped themselves in Parkes' half.
The conditions seemed to get the better of both sides with constant errors keeping both sides from blowing the match open.
That was until a brilliant 80 metre run from Parkes' fullback Semi Navatu swung the momentum back into the Boars favour going on to score untouched as Bevan added the extra two points from in front.
The Rhinos would have chances but a dropped ball in their half was swooped up by Vereti Tupou who scored with just a minute left before Bevan again converted to ice the game for the visitors 24-10.
Rhinos prop Brett Austin feels some questionable calls were not to blame for the result.
"It was very frustrating, a few calls weren't going our way and a few decisions but we can't dwell on that," he said.
"I think all their tries came from mistakes, I think someone slipped over and they got through us and they got a length of the field try and even the last one was a knock-on which they kicked through a scored off so they just took some opportunities,
"We were the better side it was pretty slippery and it wasn't a great game for ball handling."
Sitting now with just one win to their name this season, the Rhinos can take positives out of their performance even missing one of the sides most experienced players, Austin admitted.
"I think we were the better side definitely, if that's the top side we know we aren't far off it so anyway that's positive," he said.
"Our regular half was away in Te'au so we sort of missed him a little bit but Kieran filled in there and did a pretty good job and he is only new to the game so we missed that experience at the back of the ruck I think."
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