It's now be close to a year after Dubbo CYMS' loss to Forbes in the 2022 Peter McDonald Premiership grand final.
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The Dubbo CYMS coach opted to rest three of his starting 13 on Sunday against Nyngan while Jyie Chapman played just 20 minutes.
Claude Gordon, Alex Bonham and Jarryn Powyer all missed CYMS' 22-14 loss to the Tigers.
Last year's runners up and the 2023 Group 11 minor premiers were already confirmed to finish the regular season in top spot.
"We sort of had a plan after beating Parkes that we would finish first and I was definitely going to a few boys," Townsend said.
"Coming into last year's finals series I feel that I probably cooked a few of them, I remember last year Billy Sing had shin splints three weeks out and we kept training hard.
"I don't know whether or not that didn't get us over the line in the end.
"But that's why I sort of decided to freshen them up."
Townsend confirmed both Bonham and Gordon were carrying niggles into the game while Chapman copped a bit of a knock during the match but was fine to continue.
For Powyer, he and his partner are expecting the birth of their child any day now.
While Sunday's match may have not gone the way they wanted, it gave youngsters like Troyden Dixon, Jarrod Peachey and Jackson Bayliss big minutes in first grade.
The side will face the Hawks for the first time in 2023 and the match is only the second time the two clubs have met.
Last year, the Hawks defeated Dubbo CYMS in round one of the Peter McDonald Premiership.
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