A sloppy second-half spoiled the Glen Innes Magpies' win over Armidale Rams on Saturday.
The Magpies got away with a 40-10 triumph after leading 30-nil at half-time.
Glen Innes player-coach Nick Say lamented his side's lack of discipline for the second stanza's even scoreline.
"The second-half was very scrappy," he said.
"We spoke about it a half-time; that we needed to keep doing what we were doing but then we lost a bit of composure.
"Our discipline got thrown out the window in attack and defence.
"We let them score a couple of easy tries which we talked about at half-time, our goal was to keep them to zero but those couple of easy ones at the end there was a disappointing factor.
"We got out to a good lead, our first-half was pretty spot on so that kept us in good stead."
The Magpies were missing five of their regulars but had a handful of under-18 players step up.
"It was not ideal but four juniors stood up so that was pleasing to see, three of them made their debut," Say said.
"That was exciting for them and for the club.
"It just shows where we are at, we have got plenty of depth if we need."
Say and co-coach Guy Mepham are hoping to have a full team available this Sunday when they face the Narwan Eels.
Narwan delivered the Magpies first and only loss earlier this season and have found form to make their way to third on the table.
Say is expecting the Eels to head to Mead Park determined to repeat the results of the last encounter.
"This is a massive game for us, a massive game for the competition really," he said.
"For them as well, if they want to keep in the top two then they have got to win."
Say's team learned from the last experience that they can't "fall asleep" on the job against Narwan.
"We didn't have a strong side in that game and we didn't turn up with the attitude really," he said.
"It gave us a kick up the bum, that game which put us into line a bit.
"We will be looking to go in with the right attitude and start well against Narwan.
"We have got to start well, we don't want to be chasing points all game."
The Magpies sit on top of the Group 19 A-grade ladder and, with three games left, hope they can maintain top spot to seal the minor premiership.
"If we win it really sets us up for the minor premiership," Say said.
"We have to win two out of the next three and hopefully we can do that.
"We have worked hard to get where we are so I don't want to let it slip now."