If things had played out differently, on Saturday Lewis Dwyer could have been helping the Parkes Boars earn a New Holland Agriculture Cup grand final berth.
The ex-Northern Suburbs Shute Shield lock played rugby union all through school and enjoyed a crack at Sydney’s premier competition, where he rucked and mauled his way around the footy field from 2012 onward.
But, after moving back home to Parkes, the 26-year-old set his sights on a change.
He found just that at the Spacemen.
“I felt quite content with what I did in Sydney, playing rugby, and it was a good time to come home and I felt like it was a good time to start a life after footy, too,” Dwyer said.
“Rugby has been my game for the last eight years, but I’ve loved the change. Change is as good as a holiday, isn’t it?”
The latest leg of Dwyer’s vacation in the 13-a-side code takes the towering prop to Forbes’ Spooner Oval.
The second derby of the Group 11 season will round out the 2018 regular season but Parkes is essentially immovable from third place on the ladder and Forbes, too, can’t make any final movements on the ladder. The Magpies will finish fourth.
Dwyer says, though, there’s still plenty on the line, particularly after Forbes traveled to Pioneer Oval and got the chocolates 18-6 on the June long weekend.
We’re yet to hit our straps but I think we’re building to something special.Parkes prop Lewis Dwyer.
“They definitely had a good strategy in the first game, they gave away penalties to restructure their line and that worked for them,” Dwyer said.
“But we want to go there, square up and get a good win against the Maggies and head into the finals against Wello with a bit of momentum.”
Momentum will be key against Forbes, too, with the Magpies pack regarded as one of the best in Group 11.
After a mid-season trip, Jake Grace’s first game back resulted in Forbes snapping a three-game losing streak last week in Nyngan.
Dwyer said it was on himself and his fellow forwards – including veterans Dave Robinson and the returning Epi Sodrodro – to muscle up against Grace and co on Sunday as the Spacemen look to live up to the potential they’ve shown flashes of during the first 13 weeks of the season.
“I think in the close games we’ve, in patches, shown our potential but we’ve left a little bit out there, we’ve shown glimpses,” he said.
“We’re yet to hit our straps but I think we’re building to something special.
“On Sunday, we’ve got to have good line-speed and knock them down early to get on top so the backs can score the tries.”
Parkes will travel to Forbes on Sunday for the final round of the Group 11 season.