Group 16 finals could come down to the last few rounds and rising injury tolls says Bega Roosters president Phil Dummett.
The Roosters suffered a sound loss to the Bay Tigers over the weekend, going down 28-6, while Tathra made a strong case for a run at the finals with a 23-16 win over the Moruya Sharks.
"There's only a few rounds left and they won't be easy games," he said on Monday.
"There's not much in it [on leaderboard], there's very little between us and the top and it's going to be an interesting finish to the season "
Narooma have emerged as something of a front-runner for the Group 16 title this year with their speed and stepping put most clubs to task, but Dummett believes the Merimbula-Pambula Bulldogs have also shown some class and ability and will be right in the mix as finals contenders.
"Merimbula-Pambula following on from Tathra at home, they're going to be really telling games for us in the next couple of weeks," Dummett said.
Speaking on the results in the Bay, Dummett said the Roosters had suffered a few injuries that hampered the club's efforts, but commended the Bay on a great performance in front of their home crowd.
"We had a few injuries and a few little errors worked their way in, but the Bay just really wanted it for their home crowd," he said.
"They put together and everything clicked and they just put it to us."
Bega captain Scott Fuller was sidelined following a head-knock, while Clay Ellison was also sidelined following a heavy hit. Jordan Gray-Balcomb suffered a knee injury, but was able to go back on later in play.
Dummett said he believed the Sharks had looked really dominant after being the first club to tarnish Cooma's strong run earlier this season, but following the result to the Eagles on Sunday and two games to catch up on, things could shake out very differently.
"I, personally, think it could be Merimbula-Pambula and Narooma shaping for finals, with Tathra also in contention," he said.
However, some strong results in the final weeks would see the Roosters still more than capable of finishing in the top four and putting a good foot forward for the premiership.
In reserve grade the Roosters were dealt a harsh blow, playing just metres from the Bay line in the final minute when the siren appeared to sound.
Play was stopped and when it emerged there had still been a small amount of time left on the clock, the club had lost the momentum and finished behind 26-22.
The under 18s played 10-a-side in "good spirit" Dummett said with the home team proving too strong to win 48-24.
Meanwhile, Tathra defeated the Bega Chicks 12-4 in a clash at Eden's George Brown Memorial Oval on Sunday.