THEY say that you can learn a lot from a loss, and Rugby Union's Ryan Peacock and his side believe in that statement after they were forced to go the long road towards a BOIDC grand final appearance.
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Rugby's long standing unbeaten run over Cavaliers came to an end last weekend in a close conclusion, leaving the Bathurst side in a preliminary final contest against the team who have become their biggest local rival in recent years, St Pat's Old Boys.
The Rugby boys would consider themselves unlucky to have only claimed one BDCA and BOIDC premiership since their breakthrough season in 2016-17, but they find themselves in a great position to try and add a second title since that campaign.
The 2017 BDCA first grade decider saw Rugby go down to Bathurst City before they came back to claim the crown the following season over the Saints on the back of an exciting drawn game.
Rugby and Saints have played out some memorable contests in the four years since then and this Saturday promises to be another one for the collection.
"I think ever since that grand final it's been the matchup to watch," Rugby skipper Ryan Peacock said.
"I think when you look at the sides in Bathurst we're the two benchmarks, for sure, and I know we both pride ourselves on being the best and setting the standard."
Just eight runs separated Cavs and Rugby in the qualifying final and the Bathurst team are keen to earn another crack at the minor premiers.
The Rugby middle order, which has traditionally shown a fair bit of stubbornness across the 2021-22 season, struggled to get much away against the Cavaliers attack and it proved to be a decisive factor in the result.
Peakers said close defeats always sting but they can often be the biggest motivators.
"It was a pretty tough one to cop but I feel like those are the ones that you learn more from than even the ones you win," he said.
"In close ones like that it's often the case, and I know that personally I took a lot away from it. Having that bit of hurt from the week before can be a bit of motivation."
The two teams come together at George Park 1 for Saturday's game - the same venue where Rugby's second grade team booked their grand final appearance last weekend.
That would normally help give Peacock and his squad some decent intel on the pitch, although the week's wet weather could come into play.
"There will be a little bit of moisture in it with this rain that we've had, which traditionally turns it into a bowling wicket up there, but it's been a bit of a good batting wicket from what I've seen this year," Peacock said.
"I haven't read too much into the scores that have been happening up there but from when we've played there it's been pretty good.
"From what I heard from our second grade guys the wicket was a little bit dead and that could be from it being a little drier over the last few weeks. A little bit of water in it might help to liven it up a little bit."
The clash at George Park 1 will get underway from 11am.
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