The Glen Innes Magpies put themselves clear of the rest of the competition on the A-grade ladder on Sunday with a win over reigning premiers the Moree Boomerangs.
The Magpies rocketed out to an 18-nil lead but the Boomerangs hit back.
Heading into half-time, the home side held a 22-6 lead.
The start of the second stanza saw a rejuvenated Boomerangs outfit come out firing to post the first points.
The remainder of the match saw both sides post try-for-try but it was the hosts who eventually claimed the victory 40-24.
Glen Innes captain-coach Guy Mepham credited the side's defence with holding off the Boomerangs.
"We have been leaking points before and after half-time and this week we really tightened that up," he said.
"They play for 80 minutes and it doesn't matter who turns up but credit to our boys for digging deep last week."
Mepham also highlighted the ball control on display.
"All-in-all, we can say we completed at 95 per cent so really positive," he said.
Earlier in the season the Magpies struggled to field consistent sides but in recent matches they have managed to put together a strong 17 to take the field.
"We have been dedicated for a few weeks," Mepham said.
"When Narwan gave us a touch up it was a bit of a kick up the backside and that really made the boys want to turn up and put in.
"We do have a chance at winning the comp so we have to turn up and put in the hard yards."
If anything soured the win, it was the Magpies ill-discipline.
"Leaking penalties. We get in a good field position and then give away an easy penalty, things you can't do against the Rangs," Mepham said.