All of a sudden it feels a lot like 2017 again.
Arguably the best small-town rugby club in the Central West in the last half-decade, Forbes is again making a push for a Blowes Clothing Cup premiership after passing two tough tests in consecutive weeks.
Last week Hare Lavaka's men knocked off defending premiers Orange Emus at Grinsted Oval and then, on Saturday at Pride Park, the travelling Platypi took care of business to record the club's first road victory of 2021, despite a stunning outing from veteran Lions prop Josh Tremain.
Tremain scored all of Orange City's tries, pushing the Lions pack forward to score on the back of two well-worked drives off line-out wins before a barnstorming run to score completed what would no doubt be a personal best try-haul for the Orange City skipper.
But the Platypi wouldn't be denied, claiming the 21-17 victory to remain second on the ladder.
The feel around the club is good. A first grade premiership is our goal.Platypi prop Charlie French
Forbes appeared in back-to-back grand finals in 2016 and 2017 both at Endeavuor Oval and both up against Emus, the Lachlan Valley boys winning the latter to celebrate just the club's second top flight title.
With the greens on top of the ladder three points clear of the navy blues, the 2021 title race has an eerily similar feel to it.
After his side scored the game's first try, Forbes prop Charlie French says the Platypi battled throughout the first 40 minutes.
But, in a sign of the club's ability to handle adversity in 2021, Forbes tackled the challenge and a renewed focus at the set piece against a Lions side clearly targeting the Platypi big men enabled the visitors to leave Orange on Saturday with a crucial win.
A representative prop, French says the Forbes club is enjoying its start to 2021 - five wins from the opening eight rounds.
"We are building well," French said.
"The feel around the club is good and although we sometimes struggle in second grade we have a strong squad. A first grade premiership is our goal ... but we need to continue to build and execute our game plan. We have a lot of footy to go."
Forbes opened the scoring on the back of a penalty try before Tremain crossed twice for City to skip the hosts out to a 10-7 advantage.
The Platypi hit back through five-pointers to Andrew Hubbard and Mahe Fangupo, both of which Daniel Sweeney was able to convert, to give Forbes a handy 21-10 buffer, what would be a match-winning lead.
Tremain's third added some respect to the scoreline for the Lions, but after a strong start letting the Platypi take hold of the game would be viewed as a disappointment by the Pride Park faithful.
"City came out firing and I don't think we expected how they started," French said.
"We spoke about being ready for them all week and during the warm up especially after the flogging we got in the final round of last year."
French said Matt Coles was against great for Forbes at the back of the scrum, while Hubbard and breakway Tom MacLeay shone.
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