Vale Dane Richards
Orange Hawks and Forbes Magpies held a minute's silence following the shock death of under 18s player Dane Richards on Sunday, June 25.
The under 18s fixture was understandably not played with both clubs agreeing to record the result as a draw.
Dane was a promising junior who had played a handful of first grade games this season and also represented Group 11 and Magpies captain-coach Nick Greenhalgh said after the loss to Hawks his team had left it all out there in memory of Dane.
"It's been a bit of a tough week for the club, losing one of our own," he said.
"The boys really wanted to do it for him today, unfortunately we couldn't get the two points which is a bit of a shame but I thought our effort was there and everything we did today was for him."
Dane was honoured at other matches on the weekend also, with Parkes and Lithgow holding a minute's silence before their match while the Spacemen also released balloons before kick-off.
Latest injuries raise Glen Willow questions
Mudgee's Glen Willow is the finest ground in the region when it comes to gameday experience for fans, media, team staff and others, but does the surface need to be looked at?
During Saturday's match between Mudgee and Dubbo CYMS, opposition centres Corin Smith and Jeremy Thurston both went down with knee injuries on the same side of the field at different times.
There were also claims on Saturday that side of the field - opposite the grandstand - led to a number of other knee injuries in recent seasons.
CYMS players also noticeably struggled with cramp late in the match, something not too often seen from the fittest side in the competition.
While there's nothing to say the surface at the Mudgee ground is causing injuries, repeated incidents would need to be something looked into.
Duck Creek effect
Orange CYMS' first win of the season on Saturday was good for the competition. You never want to see sides flogged week after week.
However, it was a real blow for Nyngan.
Heading into the weekend in third in the extremely competitive Group 11 pool, most expected the Tigers to get the job done at Wade Park.
Suspension and illness impacted the Tigers but another factor may have been the annual Duck Creek race meeting, one of the biggest social events on the calendar in the Bogan Shire.
The Tigers were without a number of players across all grades on Saturday. Coincidence or the call of the Duck?
Fergo factor kicks in for Cowboys
Having lost two successive games away from home, Wellington needed a win on Sunday a five-star showing from Blake Ferguson helped make that happen.
Ferguson dived deep into his bag of tricks in a classic performance against the Bathurst Panthers. He nearly pulled off a double chip and chase effort to score before the half-time siren, only for the Panthers to scramble back in time to diffuse the situation.
He wasn't afraid to throw a pass nearly half the width of the field either, doing so on several occasions.
Ferguson even went for a short kick off that was almost successful when his side was up 32-12. That's not to mention he looks for offloads at every opportunity no matter how outlandish some of them can be.
It felt like only a matter of time until the former Australian player dominated a match and after helping the Cowboys bounce back from two successive losses on the road, the side will return home next weekend full of confidence.
Fishies enjoying rivals' comments
We mentioned CYMS' win at Mudgee earlier, and the Fishies weren't getting too carried away post-game.
As a side which has won many minor premierships only to lose the grand final, CYMS is all too aware what is happening now is not what really matters.
It's also made some comments from other sides all the more intriguing for those in green and white.
Captain Jarryn Powyer said post-game on Saturday it was interesting so many other sides have been talking themselves up when they're below CYMS and others on the ladder.
"Some of the stuff I read is laughable," Powyer said.
"We're not going to be making any claims. (Elsewhere) An average team beats a below average team and claims to have the best forward pack and will be hard to beat at the end of the year. We don't buy into that, we just keep showing up and hoping we get the job done."
Merritt makes the most of switch
News of an injury suffered by Filisione Pauta while playing rugby on Saturday was not what the Macquarie Raiders wanted ahead of Sunday's crucial meeting with Bathurst St Pat's.
However, it may have been a blessing in disguise.
The injury forced the Raiders to shift Blake Merritt from fullback into the halves and the returning Macquarie junior was key in the 41-26 win over St Pat's.
Few players in the competition can kick a towering bomb as good as Merritt can and that was a real weapon for the Raiders on Sunday as the Pat's backline had a tough time dealing with them.
Sunday's win boosted the Raiders' finals hopes but they need a settled lineup if they do want to climb the ladder. Having returned home from the Canterbury Bulldogs mid-season, Merritt looked comfortable in the halves and staying there could be what helps the Raiders go on to reach the finals.
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