Forbes Platypi are looking forward to a road trip to Bathurst to meet the Bulldogs this weekend, welcoming back nearly all senior players for the clash.
Forbes' representative players and a few more were notably absent last Saturday - a combination of injury, illness and unavailability - but the first grade squad held out the Orange City Lions 36-30 win at Grinsted Oval.
In a first half penalty-a-thon, Forbes hit the lead at the break 9-8 before a second half double to outside centre Peni Gaunimeke put the Platypi ahead 23-8.
23-8 would become 23-11 through the boot of City inside centre Mark Burton but before you knew it Forbes were in again with Daniel Sweeney crashing over to extend the lead out to 30-11.
City weren't going away though, Fletcher Rose scored his second try to make it 30-18 and in the 67th minute Aden Fraser was over with his side five points behind Forbes.
The boot of Sweeney kept the Platypi in control though as another penalty goal went the way of his side with 11 minutes remaining.
Orange winger Jya Little would put bums on the edge of seats in the 74th minute, as he went over for City in the right corner with the score now to 33-30.
Penalties continued to be the downfall for the away side though as Sweeney booted another penalty with a minute remaining to seal a 36-30 win.
Forbes first grade coach Tony Wallace was celebrating the win - with three representative players in Charlie French, Mahe Fangupo and Miniti Tonga amongst the seven absent from the regular first grade squad - and says the Platypi are heading in the right direction.
"We need to be a little bit smarter but we have competed in every game this season," he said.
He's looking forward to having French and Fangupo back - Tonga is serving a suspension after the Country championships - as the team heads to a Bathurst in the second half of the contest this weekend.
The Bulldogs sit in second on the Blowes Clothing Cup ladder and Wallace acknowledges this weekend is a pivotal one.
"A win against Bathurst would help us launch for the last five or six games," he said.
Matty Coles will be expected to have a big game, French will be a key return to the Forbes scrum along with Lochie Ireson.
There'll be one big change: Fangupo will move to number 12 and Ben Redfern will wear the number 9 jumper he donned last weekend.
"Ben deserved his opportunity, he's been best and fairest in reserve grade for four straight weeks," Wallace said.
Forbes Platypi 36 (Peni Gaunimeke 2, Daniel Sweeney tries; Sweeney 3 conversions; Sweeney 5 penalty goals) defeated Orange City 30 (Fletcher Rose 2, Aden Fraser, Jya Little tries; Mark Burton 2 conversions; Mark Burton 2 penalties)
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