Dungog Warriors coach Matthew Hinton was happy to get the points but was far from happy with his team's error-ridden 22-14 win against Hinton Hornets.
The Warriors were unable to break clear of the Hornets in wet and wild conditions at Bennett Park on Saturday.
Hinton said the Warriors had struggled to train on Bennett Park for the past month and their lack of ball work came back to haunt them against the Hornets.
He said conditions were miserable on Saturday with Bennett Park the wettest he had seen it.
"I thought we were pretty poor to be honest, but we got the win and that's the main thing," Hinton said.
"A lot of it comes from the fact we haven't been able to get on the park for training for a month.
"We were very clunky with the ball on Saturday and throwing some silly off-loads.
"We need to be better because the better teams will punish us for a performance like that. We would cop a 30-point beating."
Dungog went out to a 10-0 lead but while attacking their opponent's line a pass was intercepted and the Hornets scored a length-of-the-field try.
"That probably changed the momentum of the game," Hinton said. "We kept them in the game with our inability to put them away until probably 15 minutes to go."
"Our defence was solid, they only scored off an intercept and a loose carry. The positive I guess was our defence, we kept turning up."
Hinton said five-eighth Cody Argent, prop Jackson Partridge, Jack Parish off the bench, hooker Harry Boorer and centre Blake Cork, who scored two tries, were the Warriors' best.
The Warriors, with 18 points from nine wins, are on target to finish top three and can bridge the gap on Stroud (24) and Paterson (22) with victory in their catch-up game against Tea Gardens at Bennett Park on Friday night.
"These last four games we have we want to start building some continuity in our combinations and build some confidence up again," Hinton said.
"We need to get back to playing confident footy and getting some confidence back in ourselves by putting some wins together."
Dungog 22: Tries: Blake Cork 2, Wyll Darr, Cody Argent; Conversions: Wyll Darr, Oliver Pritchard; Penalty goal: Oliver Pritchard.
Hinton 14: Tries 3; Conversions 1.