Up against the leading team in the competition, the Mudgee Dragons sure were feeling the heat, but if it weren't for a lack of discipline, the home side could have knocked the Bathurst Panthers off of their perch.
Flying fists, dozens of errors and handfuls of injuries made for a slow game on Sunday at Glen Willow Stadium.
While the Dragons finished up with a tight 14-10 loss, Mudgee's number seven, Jack Beasley says it was nowhere near good enough.
"I wouldn't say it's a positive [to be behind by four points] because we know we can be the leading team, we want to be number one, we've got the squad to do it," he said.
"Any loss is bad for us because we can do better."
Ten minutes after kick-off, Bathurst planted their first try of the day, which was followed up by a try to Mudgee's Lee Hicks some 15 minutes later to even the score, until Beasley kicked the goal bringing the red and white to a 6-4 half-time lead.
40 | 6-4— Jay-Anna Mobbs (@mobbs_jay) July 14, 2019
The first half of the round 14 clash between the Mudgee Dragons and Bathurst Panthers was littered with penalties and flying fists. Mudgee have the lead.
Not long after returning to the field Bathurst scored their second to etch their way ahead.
In between some fiery behaviour and two missed penalty kicks from the Panthers, Hicks went on to score his second of the day, but a late try to Bathurst secured their round 14 victory.
"It was a grind, there was a lot of drop ball from us, we made it hard for ourselves," Beasley said.
"They're a team that can capitalise on errors and they're something we gave a lot of.
We were a bit hot headed, it wasn't just one person, everyone was, and that's discipline, we've got to have a chat about that and errors.Jack Beasley
"100 per cent we could have got the win, we are our own worst enemy. We definitely would have gone further if we were a bit smarter."
Mudgee have the bye next week, until round 16 when they will take to the field at Glen Willow Stadium on July 28 to face St. Pats.