It was the first time in almost two seasons that the Hay Magpies had picked up a victory, and the bus ride home was made all the sweeter after they defeated the DPC Roosters last weekend in Darlington Point.
Coach Neil-John Nisbet said everyone took a sigh of relief when the final whistle blew last weekend.
“It wasn’t the prettiest game of footy, but it was good to finally get the two points,” he said.
“We had blown a few chances like that this season, so it was a relief when the game finished.”
The hour and 15-minute bus ride home will be the highlight of the season for the Magpies as Nisbet said a lot of the boys didn’t have any of their voice left on Monday morning.
“The trip home was fantastic, the boys and girls were in full voice,” he said.
“Trips like that make you realise what country footy is all about.”
The closest Hay had come to a win this season was a 32-30 loss to the Black and Whites at home earlier in the season, and it was an improvement in both attack and defence which saw them get over the line this time.
“Our kick chase was a lot better and so was our defence in the middle,” he said.
“We kept inviting them back into the game with silly penalties which has been our problem all season. We just make too many mistakes. The good thing is they now have a taste of what it means to get a win and are learning that the things we were doing aren’t acceptable.”
The focus from the coach has been keeping the goals realistic knowing his side have a tough run to finish the season.
“I still don’t think that we will avoid finishing bottom this season,” he said.
“We still do too many silly things, and we have a fair few blokes under the age of 21. I talked to them about taking on the instructions and not falling back into bad habits. We know where we are at and we have to be realistic.”
The Magpies return home this weekend to take on the Waratahs with first grade starting at around 3pm.