His side's ongoing issue with discipline is a real point of frustration but Nyngan captain-coach Jeremy Smith was still proud to be a part of Sunday's meaningful Group 11 fixture at Apex Oval.
The Tigers were beaten 26-10 by Macquarie in the Raiders' annual Perry Meredith memorial round fixture.
The match is always close to the hearts of Raiders as they honour their former junior who died in 2016 but Smith also felt privileged to run out on Sunday.
Smith is a former Macquarie player and was a hugely popular member of the side during his time there.
He was part of the Raiders team, alongside Meredith, which won the 2012 premiership so being asked to be a part of the memorial fixture and spending time with Perry's father, Mark, before kick-off meant a lot.
"It's a special thing," Smith said.
"They did it with CYMS a couple of years ago and then couldn't do it last year because of COVID but to do it this year and do it with Nyngan; it's special that they came and asked us to be part of it.
"I knew Perry well and we were good mates and for his dad Mark to come into the sheds and present me my jersey before the game was a special thing and it meant a lot to me."
Smith was also embraced by Mark Meredith, a former Raiders president, following Sunday's match.
The current Raiders side may look vastly different to those which ran around when he was president at the club, but Sunday's win was important to the players.
Wyndham Peachey starred in the win and while this season is his first back at Macquarie after a number of years in Sydney, he knew how much extra motivation his teammates had.
"We were playing for a big cause today, big Pez," Peachey said after the win.
"I didn't get the chance to meet him but all the boys around here have told me plenty about him and it meant a lot to the boys."
The obvious downside to it all for Smith was his side's disappointing loss.
After a slow start allowed Macquarie to skip out to a 16-0 lead in the first half the Tigers rallied and a Clynton Edwards try on 49 minutes cut the margin to six and gave the visitors all the momentum.
But the sin-binning of Peni Botiki and sending off of Ash Widders changed the game and two late tries for Macquarie secured the result.
Smith said ill-discipline, sin-bins and send-off have been all too common this season but the effort with 11 men briefly showed the quality his side does have.
"We just kept turning up for each other and had a bit of pride in the jersey so I can't fault them for that," Smith said of the effort in the closing stages.
"We just need to hold the ball and cut those silly penalties out."
Nyngan remains in fifth spot on the ladder and will host fourth-placed Parkes next weekend while Macquarie will head to Forbes.
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