THE Queanbeyan Blues have fired right back up to Canberra Raiders Cup title contention after destroying the Tuggeranong Bushrangers 28-6 last Saturday and having cross-town rivals the Kangaroos suffer their first loss.
East-Queanbeyan's heralded rugby league venture momentarily took first place for the first time this season, before the Goulburn Workers Bulldogs beat Woden Valley Rams on Sunday to go nine points differential on top.
But the highlight for the Blues has been the fact they have recovered from a slow start to again be a threat having suffered so many injuries.
Experienced halves in former Canberra Raider and skipper Marc Herbert and Andrew McLean have spent the last six weeks on the sidelines, with utility Ben Nicoll and young guns Tom Leddy and Tevian Arona leading their men around the paddock.
Coach Simon Woolford said these men had stood up beyond expectations and this meant they had the depth to cover the loss of experience.
"It pays credit to the young guys that have spent a lot of time coming through. Tom Leddy has been absolutely outstanding for us, Ben Nicoll has stood up, and Tevian Arona has has done his job off the bench," said Woolford.
It is looking like a good few weeks ahead for the squad now, with most players out injured early in the season returning to the field.
Forwards Michael Cullen and Levi Freeman have already returned from niggling leg injuries suffered in the first few rounds, while Herbert and Leonard Winkerei will likely return for the local derby against the Kangaroos next weekend.
But first thing's first will be a top-of-the-table clash with the Bulldogs at Seiffert Oval this Saturday, and Woolford knows how important a win will be to break the competition deadlock between first and third.
"It's all about making the 17 guys and the coaches accountable...our goal is to make sure we improve and when the game's a cracker we're on top," said Woolford.