"Nobody likes coming to Lithgow and having a game at Lithgow, especially against Workmen's Club, on a cold winter afternoon," Workies premier league coach Graeme Osborne said after his team ran out 40-18 winners against St Pat's on Sunday.
The loss to Lithgow Workies Wolves at Lithgow on Sunday, June 23 has left the Bathurst St Pat's 2019 season "right on the edge". Captain-coach Luke Branighan said the team had expected a win going into the encounter at Tony Luchetti Oval.
"We'd trained well all week. We expected to come here and come away with a win," he said.
Instead St Pat's was soundly beaten 40-18, with the home team spurred on by a vocal crowd rugged up against the bitter cold. The temperature did not rise about six degrees on the day and felt a great deal colder.
The Workies hit the scoreboard early, with Greg Behan scoring within minutes of the kickoff. Jono Van Veen was next to cross the line before St Pat's capitalised on a penalty to put Adam Booth over.
Booth was over the line again before half-time after Chris Kirby intercepted Jono Van Veen's grubber kick and gave St Pat's another chance.
The Workies pushed over for another try before the half, with St Pat's quickly hitting back to bring the half-time score to 18-14.
The difference was the boot of Workies' Josh Howarth, who was in great form all match.
The second half belonged to the Workies and despite a try from Jack MacKey, St Pat's struggled to get any momentum and the Workies stretched out their lead to 40-18 by the final whistle.
Branighan said it was clear that Lithgow wanted the win more.
"Unfortunately it's a team game. We had five or six blokes have a real dig today but you can't have six out of 17 blokes against a good football team like Lithgow."
Branighan said defence would have to be a major focus in the coming rounds.
"We're leaking too many points. There's no real science to it. Lithgow just ran harder - that's the way they play, they just try and power through... And that's what they did today," he said.
"We probably had as many opportunities to ice a few tries as Lithgow did, but we weren't good enough to do it.
"We just need to win games or we'll be out of the semi-final race very soon. We're right on the edge at the moment."
There will testing games coming for the Lithgow Workies team, which will take on Cowra and CYMS at home, as well as Oberon away, over the next three weeks.
The team has set itself a goal to win at least three of the next four games.
"We've got three at home over the next month.
"We like winning at home, so if we can get that away win as well that would be good," Osborne said.
There would be some areas, including discipline, which would require some attention at training.
"You can't score a try and then give the ball back within that set of six. We're still doing those little errors. We'll keep working on that."
All will be hoping for the swift return of Nick Bender, who was in the midst of a huge individual run down the field into clear space when he pulled up with a hamstring injury.
"He got shot in the back of the leg with a bullet, unfortunately. It's one of those things you don't want to see for a winger," Osborne said.
"It's their bread and butter, scoring tries. He was away and just lost his hammy at the halfway mark."
LITHGOW WORKIES 40 (Jono Van Veen, Eli Felton, Greg Behan, Harry Bender, Greg Alderson, goals Josh Howarth 5) def BATHURST ST PAT'S 18 (Adam Booth 2, Jack MacKey, goals Adam Booth 1).