Shortly after Sunday's heated Dubbo derby at Apex Oval, Macquarie captain-coach Alex Ronayne carried a carton of beer into the CYMS shed and congratulated his rivals on their win.
It might seem like a simple gesture, but it showed the respect and mateship between the players despite just being part of a fiery 80-minute battle that featured a send-off, two sin-binnings, and a number of players put on report for high shots.
The weekend marked the first time Ronayne went up against his former club and as much as CYMS' 12-11 win was a bitter pill to swallow, he wasn't letting it get in the way of the bonds he has with so many of those in green and white.
"I haven't played against CYMS in 13 years," he said.
"I had so long with CYMS and I can't say a bad word about them. I was there and I won grand finals with them and those boys are my best mates.
"I had dinner with Jarryn (CYMS co-captain Jarryn Powyer) last night and it's more than footy with those boys."
Ronayne spent years at the Fishies, playing alongside the likes of Powyer, Jyie Chapman, Ben Marlin, and Billy Sing while CYMS back-rower Josh Toole is one of his best mates and the pair grew up in Bourke together.
The Toole brothers also went head-to-head on Sunday with Josh in the green and white and Matt spending time at both hooker and halfback for the Raiders.
Their battle was one of the highlight of the game for many of those in attendance at Apex Oval and was just one of the examples of what makes derby football special.
Ronayne was also adamant there was no malice in the match, despite Jack Kavanagh being sent off for a high shot on Jyie Chapman in the second half, while Raiders teammate Filisione Pauta and Ali Beale of CYMS were also sin-binned for their roles in the ensuing melee.
Ronayne, while frustrated to lose two players at one point, pointed to the heat of the moment, the hype around the fixture, and some fatigue in both sets of players during what was a match played at breakneck speed.
"It is disappointing. We're all best mates and we're not trying to knock each other out," he said.
"It's a hard, tough game and it was quick so people were getting tired and there's going to be a few head highs and that.
"At the end of the day they did it to us and we did it to them but it is disappointing and it killed us."
Jeremy Thurston scored twice for CYMS following Kavanagh being marched by referee Simon Hartas and those two efforts proved the difference in the end.
Wyndham Peachey, on debut for the Raiders, crossed with seven minutes to go and gave Matt Naden a kick to put his side in front from the sideline but the effort was waved away.
Ronayne highlighted the performance of five-eighth Peachey, the son of Cronulla Sharks legend and current Macquarie juniors coach David Peachey, as one of the real highlights for the Raiders.
The younger Peachey has more recently spent time playing for the Newtown Jets but moved back home in recent weeks and the direction he provided from the halves and his kicking game provided a real boost for the Raiders.
"Just having Wyndham Peachey there and help us around was very pleasing," Ronayne said.
"He said he wanted to come back and play with his old man and he's a Macquarie junior as well so we're stoked to have him. He's loving it here."
The loss was Macquarie's third in succession has them sitting in fourth on the ladder, now just one point ahead of Nyngan.
The result on Sunday was made more painful by injuries to Richie Peckham and Brandon Hamilton.
Both needed assistance from the field at different times, the former because of a nasty head knock and the latter due to an ankle injury.
The Raiders are at home against the Narromine Jets next weekend.
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