When you’re amid a devastating run of injuries, you need your best players to stand up.
On Sunday, the Mudgee Dragons broke a four-match losing streak with a heart-stopping 32-30 triumph over Bathurst St Pat’s – a win that might not have been possible without flamboyant front rower Chanse Burgess.
The Western under 23’s star bagged his side’s second try in the 11th minute before putting Demetrius Ainuu through a gaping hole in the 42nd.
Not only was Burgess brilliant but the entire Dragons’ roster was explosive when in attacking position as the Red held off a late surge from the boys in blue.
“When we got to where we wanted to be, we executed well,” Burgess said.
“We finished our set plays well today whereas the last couple of weeks we haven’t really been finishing them off.”
While Burgess led the forwards on Sunday, Corin Smith was close to the best back on the field as he scored a try and put Tom Baddock over twice with some nifty ball playing.
The 62-point shootout featured three tries in the last eight minutes as Bathurst St Pat’s went back-to-back in the dying stages but weren’t able to track down the Dragons.
St Pat’s fullback Sam Dwyer crossed for the game’s final try after a strong 80 minutes in which he broke what seemed like a dozen tackles.
St Pat’s led 16-12 at half time after clawing back from a two-try deficit but relinquished the advantage for good when Mudgee’s Corin Smith scored in the 55th minute.
A win is always good but conceding 30 points will give coach Ben Gregory plenty of talking points at Wednesday’s training session.
“Our first contact let us down today,” Burgess said.
“Once we missed a few tackles they pulled us apart up the middle.
“We’ve got a great team and we can shake the comp up a bit but we need to get better. We were too patchy.”
As patchy as it might have been, the Dragons will take the two points with open arms as they advance to 2-4 ahead of the bye in round seven.
Mudgee expects to welcome back multiple players for its round eight clash against Cowra.