In a stunning reversal of fortunes, the Crookwell Dogs beat the Yass Rams 23-46 in Yass on the weekend, which marks their third win in as many weeks.
Many pundits would not have expected the Dogs to beat Jindabyne, Bungendore, and Yass in consecutive matches after their 0-3 start to the season, but coach Bruce Nixon knew it was only a matter of time before the team began to relax on the field and play their best football.
"I'm very impressed with what they're doing at the moment," Nixon said.
"When you've got a lot of new players together, it takes a little while for them to trust what the player beside them is going to do and how he reacts.
"Our training early on was pretty boring, pretty structured, but they're starting to play a little bit more expansive, and they trust each other and the results are coming from that."
In early 2019 and throughout 2018, Yass established itself as a side which can topple leading teams on its day, and the Dogs were wary going into the encounter.
However, Crookwell got an early start in the scoring as Danny Knight crossed five minutes in.
From that point, both sides traded tries for a time, until Crookwell pulled away with another score just before half-time, to lead 20-22.
After half-time, the match opened up, and the Rams were only able to add one more penalty goal as Crookwell piled on 24 further points, to take the match 23-46.
While their three-match winning streak has seen Crookwell jump to fourth on the ladder, Nixon said that the most pleasing aspect for him as coach is to see how much fun his side have had on the field.
"Even some of the senior players, the new guys who have come to play for Crookwell, they come from Goulburn ... and a guy said to me yesterday 'this is the best fun I've had playing rugby'," Nixon said.
"We might've lost the first three games, but there wasn't anyone down in the dumps, we knew we were going to get better."
The major points-winners from Saturday's match were Will Mooney with three, Toby White with two, Danny Knight with one, Will Croker with one, and Ben Seaman was named Players' Player.
This Saturday, Crookwell will travel to Captain Oldrey Park in Broulee to take on the Broulee Dolphins from 2.30pm.