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Group 10 first-grade sides have proven they mean business in the third of four Peter McDonald Premiership crossover rounds, winning four of six matches against Group 11 outfits in Round Eight of the 2023 competition.

Playing on Saturday and Sunday, the results contrasted earlier crossover games, where Group 11 completely dominated Group 10 winning nine of 12 matches in Rounds One and Two.

The top-of-the-table Mudgee was too strong for Nyngan, with the Dragons defeating the Tigers 36-20 at Larkin Oval on Sunday.

Centre Corin Smith scored a first-half double before the Dragons added four second-half tries to run away with the comfortable 16-point win.

The Bathurst Panthers upstaged reigning premiers Forbes 30-16 at Spooner Oval on Sunday, with the Magpies now bottom of the Group 11 table.

The Panthers solidified their position in the Group 10 top four with fullback Josh Rivett leading the way after a try and four conversions, while winger Jesse Limon finished with a double.

Arguably the surprise result of the round was the Orange Hawks making it three wins from their past four matches, defeating the travelling Wellington Cowboys at Wade Park on Sunday.

Shane Rodney’s men are growing in confidence each week and now sit in third position on the Group 10 ladder.

For the Cowboys, the loss has them in fourth position on the Group 11 ladder but only three competition points ahead of Macquarie Raiders and Forbes Magpies.

After losing six games on the trot, Lithgow now has back-to-back wins next to their name with the Wolves edging past the Macquarie Raiders 20-18 at Tony Luchetti Sportsground on Sunday.

A Cooper Egan two-point field goal proved the difference between the two sides in a tense contest.

In the game of the round, Bathurst St Pat’s fell short against Parkes, with the Spacemen winning 22-18 at Jack Arrow Sporting Complex.

Parkes back rower Will Wardle was at his dangerous best as he crossed for two tries, meaning the Spacemen remain in outright second position on the Group 11 ladder.

Despite the loss, St Pat’s still sits in second place on the Group 10 ladder, but they have Orange Hawks, Bathurst Panthers, and ever-improving Lithgow Wolves breathing down their neck. 

In the only lopsided match of the round, Dubbo CYMS again proved why they are the Peter McDonald Premiership favourites when putting the sword to the winless Orange CYMS at Apex Oval on Saturday.

Dubbo scored 11 unanswered tries, with Thomas Hughes, James Stanley, and Corey Drew each scoring doubles in the big win.

The fourth and final round of crossover matches will be played this weekend, with Saturday’s fixture between the Mudgee Dragons and Dubbo CYMS at Glenn Willow Regional Sports Complex set to kick off what should be a tantalising two days of Western Rugby League.

In the only other match on Saturday, Orange CYMS will be searching for their first win when hosting the Nyngan Tigers at Wade Park.

On Sunday, Macquarie Raiders host Bathurst St Pat’s at Apex Oval, Wellington travel to Bathurst, with the Cowboys taking on the Panthers at Carrington Park, Parkes Spacemen play hosts to the visiting Lithgow Wolves, and Orange Hawks take on Forbes Magpies at Wade Park.

Group 10 ladder: Mudgee Dragons 14, Bathurst St Pat’s 10, Orange Hawks 8, Bathurst Panthers 8, Lithgow Wolves 4, Orange CYMS 0.

Group 11 ladder: Dubbo CYMS 12, Parkes Spacemen 12, Nyngan Tigers 8, Wellington Cowboys 8, Macquarie Raiders 5, Forbes Magpies 5.

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New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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