"AT the end of the day we're all having fun and we're rebuilding the club,'' Macleay Valley captain-coach Anthony Cowan said after his side's 52-24 loss to Old Bar in the Group Three Rugby League game at Old Bar.
"We want to bring the community together and I think we're achieving that.''
Cowan explained the Mustangs are fielding a young side, with the majority of players just out of junior grades.
Macleay had a solid start to the season with wins over Taree City and Wingham while they were only beaten by two points by Port City, despite being down to 11 players at one stage.
However, they've since had heavy losses to Port Macquarie and now Old Bar.
"It was a tough day today,'' Cowan admitted.
"It always is down here. But at the end of the day it's part of the learning curve for these young boys.''
He has nothing but praise for his players and he's particularly impressed with their enthusiasm.
"They're 80 minute players. They keep coming every week and we'll keep improving,'' Cowan said.
"I can bring these boys up from juniors and I know they'll play for the 80 minutes. And they can play in any position.
...what we need now is a couple more wins to boost their confidence.Anthony Cowan
He pointed out that the Mustangs came from 16 points down to beat Wingham earlier in the season.
"I knew that 16 points wasn't enough to beat us. We stayed in the grind and came away with a great win,'' he said.
"The way they stay composed is a credit to them.''
"But what we need now is a couple more wins to boost their confidence.''
The Mustangs were down by eight points early against the Pirates after the home side scored two tries from kicks.
However, Macleay responded with a great try after winger Tyrell Dungay was given space down the tuochline and he positioned centre Miles Montga to cross. Cowan kicked the conversion.
Old Bar then skipped to a 14-6 lead before centre Jeremy Taylor went high to take a cross kick and score for Cowan to again add the extras.
Busy hooker Ian Madden bounced through tackles to post Macleay's third try and give them an 18-14 lead with 11 minutes left in the first half.
The Pirates had the last say though and trooped off at the break ahead 26-18.
Old Bar dominated the second half with a Cowan try from a show and go the highlight for the Mustangs.
This weekend, the Group Three Rugby League Competition will take a break for the June Long weekend, giving all the teams a well earned rest.
When the competition resumes on Sunday, June 20, the Mustangs will play an important match against Wingham at Wingham.
Also making the news:
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: