A depleted Cootamundra side put together a "pleasing" performance despite going down 58-8 to Group Nine ladder leaders Southcity Bulls on Sunday.
Co-coach Matt Forsyth explained that two players pulled out in the hours leading into the clash at Wagga's Harris Park, while a number of reserves were unavailable.
He was hugely impressed with his troops' effort, considering the two sides' previous encounter this year, when the Bulls piled on more than 80 points.
"We only warmed up 11 players so it was pretty surprising to have that result," Forsyth said.
"We were good in patches and we stuck it to them but like I said last week we just switch off for 20 minutes and against a side like Southcity they're going to score points.
"It was only 24-4 at halftime. I was pretty happy going into the sheds. It was pleasing to stick it to a side that's at the top of the table."
The next month doesn't get any easier for Cootamundra with games against top five teams Gundagai, Tumut, Wagga Brothers and Albury.
"It's going to be really tough but we just have to stay positive and we'll get there."
The result for Southcity returned them to the top of the Group Nine ladder, but it's come at a cost with star five-eighth Nathan Rose succumbing to another hamstring injury.
"It's the most frustrating season," Rose said after the game.
In the lower grades, Cootamundra's ladies' league tag enjoyed a 22-8 win over Bulls while second grade suffered a 34-4 loss.