The Bega Roosters paid homage to Indigenous players and support of the club during a special recognition round on Sunday.
The club was playing host to the undefeated Cooma Stallions and looking to knock the visitors off their pedestal, but couldn’t quite contain their rivals.
Bega kept the visitors relatively quiet in the opening half, but the Stallions broke play open in the second half to claim a 26-16 result on the day.
Earlier matches bore mixed results with the Roosters narrowly claiming the reserve grade fixture 26-20.
The league-tag result favoured the Cooma Fillies by just four points 22-18, while the under 18s had gone Bega’s way 34-20.
In the headline clash it was the Roosters able to strike first when Scott Fuller found the line just six minutes in.
Todd Ingram cleanly slotted the conversion and the hosts were out in front 6-0.
Bega did well to contain the monstrous forward pack from the Stallions until the 24th minute when winger Zane Weston crossed.
The extras by Zach Smith levelled the score, but the Roosters were holding firm against the competition-leading outfit.
Unfortunately, Cooma applied their full force through the middle and were able to score again four minutes later with half-back Luke Bracher dashing over.
The kick faded wide, but the Stallions took hold 10-6 leading into the break.
Early into the second half the Roosters levelled the scores at 10-10 with Bega quick Zac Cuzner stepping into space to score.
Tim Knight proved a huge boost for the Stallions off the bench into the second half, scoring two tries in quick succession to open up a good lead.
The Cooma winger Weston was again able to find the line and chances for the Roosters were closing, trailing 26-10 with just eight minutes left to play.
A try on the siren for Grant Jessop was converted by Billy Hudson, but the Stallions had kept up their streak with the 26-16 result.
Steven Luff featured with two tries in the reserve grade result, while it was a whole-team effort from the Roosters.
Try scorers included Bobby Taylor, Eric Fuller and Ben Tyler as the Roosters opened a huge lead.
The Stallions staged a remarkable second half fight-back, but couldn’t close the gap before the siren.
The league-tag was almost a reverse as the Chicks shot to a two-point lead in the second half after trailing at the break.
Madison Parbery put on a great display, scoring a try and converting three.
But unfortunately, the Fillies scored through five-eighth Hayley Kemp with just two minutes to play to seal the win.
For the 18s it was Jacob Whitby and James Grant establishing a foothold in the first half for the Roosters to build off.