It was only their fourth match of the season, but Gunnedah losing to the Blues in Narrabri on Sunday would have been a serious body blow, Dogs centre Aaron Donnelly has said.
The Bulldogs' 38-24 victory not only snapped a two-game losing sequence but saw them produce the type of football Donnelly knows they can produce.
Donnelly, hooker Kurt Hartmann and second-rower Jason Smith all bagged try doubles at Collins Park.
"We definitely need it [the win]," Donnelly said.
"I thought, If we have a loss there, it really sets us back."
Against the Blues, Donnelly said Gunnedah improved their set-completion rate.
"Defensively, we've been good all year but we've just been givin' teams too much opportunity when we drop the ball and give away penalties," he said.
"That was our goal [against Narrabri] - just to complete the sets, and we did it pretty well. That was probably the main difference from every other week we've played so far."
The Bulldogs lost centre Regan Welsh (ankle) and second-rower Rod Lawler (knee) early in the match, before winger Paul Sharpley did a hamstring.
Donnelly said Gunnedah were left with one bench player early in the second half.
Despite that, he said the match was an example of "how it's slowly coming together" for the side, adding that Hartmann and No.6 Reece Jaeger had their best games of the season.