James Stanley was described as a one-of-a-kind player and Alex Bonham was labelled the best hooker in the Peter McDonald Premiership after a dominant win for Dubbo CYMS on Sunday.
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CYMS got somewhere back towards its best at Apex Oval when defeating a severely under-strength Nyngan 54-6.
The Fishies were up 24-6 at the half-time break but not everything was to the liking of coach Shawn Townsend, with some errors and a little too much side-to-side play seen throughout the opening 40.
But just minutes after the restart, prop James Stanley produced the type of barnstorming run he's so well known for to get CYMS in attacking range and Bonham quickly darted out from dummyhalf and raced away to score.
Just four minutes later the hosts were in attacking range again and Stanley was again too strong, this time powering over from close range to help make it 36-6.
CYMS cruised for the rest of the contest with Stanley's fellow forwards Chanse Burgess, Ben Marlin and Jarryn Powyer also making strong metres in the middle of the park.
"We went through a couple of little periods where we didn't lose our way but we lost a little momentum with dropped ball and penalties, but straight after half-time we put the game away," Townsend said.
"Jimmy Stanley just broke the game apart. He's been pretty good for awhile and he's been one of our best players in the past three or four weeks, and off the back of him we got some momentum.
"That first try straight after half-time, I think he had two carries, 'Burgo' (Burgess) had two carries and then Bono scored from dummyhalf."
Stanley arrived at CYMS ahead of the 2021 season and has largely been used as an impact player from the bench, with his ability to trample over opposition players, offload or whack them in defence something that has often lifted the Fishies.
This year the former Wellington Cowboys premiership winner has been asked to play some bigger minutes and his eagerness to be involved has delighted his coach.
"Today he played big minutes and he looked like he could have kept going," Townsend said.
"He's just a point of difference and, I could be wrong, but there's not many players around like him. That size, speed, agility, power, aggression and footy smarts.
"He's a smart footballer and he'll come to me and say 'what about this?' and he's a bit of a footy nut and he sees things so he's a good bloke to have around."
While Stanley provided a spark, Bonham was the one who kept CYMS rolling.
The hooker scored a double and was involved in almost all of CYMS' best moments before he was given an early rest by Townsend and he received plenty of warm applause from the crowd.
Five-eighth Claude Gordon, who alongside halfback Jordi Madden also ensured the Fishies never dropped off, had nothing but praise for his number nine and good mate.
"Bono is smart enough. He's probably the best nine in the comp and he's smart enough to identify when there's a big bloke on a little bloke and inside and outside, he's too clever," Gordon said.
Bonham has spent plenty of time in the halves in recent years but is back home at hooker this season and has added another dimension to CYMS' attack.
In a mark of his impact, the one loss CYMS has suffered this season came when he and Gordon were missing due to illness.
"I've always thought he was a number nine and I've known him since he was a young kid," Gordon added.
"You've got you Billy Gilbert (of Macquarie) in this comp but I put Bono up with him."
Sunday's win was a pleasing one for CYMS after a loss to Parkes two weeks ago and a lacklustre showing in the derby win over Macquarie last time out.
Bonham, Tom Hughes, Burgess and first grade debutant Troyden Dixon all scored in the opening 40 while the hooker and Stanley crossed early in the second stanza before Jeremy Thurston, Sully Haycock and Madden crossed to complete the rout.
As lopsided as the score was, the young and patched together Tigers never threw in the towel, with fullback Fletcher Hunt and powerful centre Cale Dunn two standouts in a beaten side.
Injured captain-coach James Tuitahi admitted it was a difficult build-up not only due to injuries, but there was also more than a dozen players from across the club currently overseas in Europe to attend a wedding.
"It was challenging but it was a good lesson we learnt," Tuitahi said.
"If something like that happens again down the road, we'll be prepared."
As disappointing as the loss was, the Tigers remain fourth in the Group 11 pool and the captain-coach was immensely proud of his side.
"We've just got to work on our mindset coming into the game. It doesn't matter who we field out there, we've got to be ready," he said.
"The biggest thing I've noticed with these boys is the effort and I'll never question it. They'll never let each other down but it's just those one per centers letting us down.
"But we're improving little things every week."
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