Narromine captain Dan Maroulis acknowledged the competitive nature of the Dubbo Roos after his side won by 20 points, keeping it in touch with Bathurst Bulldogs for the first grade minor premiership.
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Maroulis and his forward pack were great in a monumental forwards battle and they had every right to be delighted with the win.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game here today and I’m delighted all 15 of my guys stood up and gave it their best,” he said.

“The defence was brilliant today. It’s something that we’ve been working on for the past month and it’s starting to pay dividends.

“And it wasn’t only in the forwards that that happened, in the backs as well. In the first half our defence was probably what set us up for the win.

“It was probably the toughest game we’ve had this season and I think credit is due to Dubbo as well, they really put in out there today.”

Maroulis also acknowledged the rivalry between the two clubs, especially in first grade.

“There’s a lot of rivalry between our two teams and it was evident out there today,” he said.

“Having a game like today, with plenty of defence and challenge on you for possession, is good for us leading into the final games of the season.

“We dropped two games earlier this season and we don’t want to drop any more.”

In the next five weeks before the start of the finals, Narromine – still a point behind Bathurst Bulldogs on the points ladder – come up against Cowra and Bulldogs at home and are away to Forbes, Emus and Orange City. Last games for the Bulldogs are Parkes, Dubbo Roos and Cowra at home and travel away to Narromine and Orange City.

Dubbo Roos’ coach Geoff Koerstz said he didn’t think the 20-points scoreline was a true indication of how tight the game was.

“That last converted try blew it out a bit, probably our guys didn’t deserve to let that happen,” Koerstz said.

“Still the commitment and drive was there today, the scrums and line-outs were much better than last week and we certainly made them work hard for their four tries.

“But we were still in touch with them at that stage but then didn’t have much ball in the last 40 minutes and we were under pressure.

“We have only a young side this year and they’re still learning and injuries haven’t been kind to us. I don’t think we’ve had the same side on the park all year.”

First season top grader, second-rower James Elliott repaid faith in his coach for giving him another go and was one of their best in a great forwards pack. Mark Reynen also threw his body on the line while Paul Elliott’s defensive effort was enormous.

Across the field there were good players and the Roos will take their form up to Apex Oval next Saturday when they play Dubbo Rhinos for the Mark Melville Cup.

In the minor grades on Saturday, Dubbo won Colts 31 to 0 and thirds 52 to 0 but Narromine took out seconds 20 to 10.

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