A late flurry of tries wasn't enough on Sunday as the Western Rams left Carrington Park still searching for a first win in the Presidents Cup.
The North Sydney Bears ran out 42-26 winners at Bathurst as the Rams were left to rue a disappointing first half where the city side was able to make easy metres in almost every set.
Errors and missed conversions didn't help the Rams either but the Cameron Greenhalgh-coached outfit never threw in the towel and tries for Group 11 guns Mitch Andrews, Bailey Hartwig, and Jesse Wighton in the final quarter were a worthy consolation.
"We aren't going to make semis now so all I'm looking for from the boys is effort, and we had that today," Greenhalgh said.
"If we kicked a few more goals that might have made things closer, they might have panicked and given us a bit more ball. A couple of decisions went their way but that's footy. If we played like we did today over at some of our other games then we would have got the two points, for sure.
"North Sydney kept coming, and they're a professional side, so I've got to be happy with the effort."
While the win ensures the Bears remain in touch with the unbeaten Maitland Pickers at the top of the Presidents Cup ladder, coach Jason Taylor wasn't thrilled with his side's performance.
The former NRL star has seen his side only lose once so far this season but the defence of his side late on Sunday will come under real scrutiny.
"The Rams have done really well. I've been watching their games closely. They've been like that all year - scoring some really great tries, and playing good footy, but they've just let too many in. That was the problem for them again today," he said.
"Defence is something we've worked hard on. Up until today we'd conceded four tries only once so that's disappointing. When the scoreboard rattles up for yourself then you can take the eye off the ball a bit."
Wighton and lively fullback Andrews both finished the match with doubles while Jackson Brien had earlier scored the first try of the day for the hosts.
Hartwig's late four-pointer was one of the highlights for the Rams as the Forbes back-rower showed silky skills when grubbering for himself and then planting it down just before the dead ball line.
The Rams head to Sydney next weekend for a meeting with the Glebe Burwood Wolves in what is their final match of the campaign as they have a final round bye.