If anyone was wondering how the Narromine Gorillas would respond after a first loss in the New Holland Agriculture Cup, they were given an emphatic answer on Saturday.
A week after a stunning loss to CSU Bathurst, the Gorillas destroyed the Dubbo Rhinos at Cale Oval.
Triple figures were almost reached as the defending premiers ran out 93-10 winners over the battling Dubbo club.
Gorillas player-coach Craig Campbell, sidelined with a rib injury suffered in the loss to CSU, admitted the defeat stung but it was also a result which made his side take stock and focus on how they want to play.
"I was very frustrated the week before," he said.
"CSU was very good but really it was the first game where someone had challenged us since last year's grand final.
"We had to take a bit of a step back and we hadn't been focusing on structure as much.
The Gorillas welcomed back some key personal who missed the CSU game, with both Sam McLeod and Tim Gainsford making their presence felt in Saturday's procession.
McLeod added firepower and direction to the forwards while Gainsford kept the backline in order as his side ran in try after try.
Winger Jake Brennan landed a hat-trick in just his second first grade game while Campbell also had plenty of praise for Sam Green, the colts player who stepped up to play inside centre and finished the day by claiming the side's best and fairest prize.
"He really did stand out and for someone his age his maturity and composure was amazing, really," he said, before praising his side's performance with ball in hand.
"It was ridiculous, some of the attack."
CSU's hard-fought 11-0 win over Parkes means the students remain on top but the Gorillas are just two points back in second.
"In this second round of games we're really aiming to improve," Campbell said, looking forward.
"If we improve then other sides will want to improve and that's what you want. You want to win but you want those good, hard battles."
The Rhinos is a side Campbell hopes can improve as the season goes on. The Dubbo team currently sits bottom of the ladder without a win after five rounds.
"I hope they turn it around," he said.
"They're a bit like us in that they've got the same core group that's been there for awhile and you'd like to see that effort rewarded."
The Gorillas head to Mudgee next weekend while the Rhinos, the only winless side in the competition, have to regroup again before playing host to the Parkes Boars next time out.
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