Mitch Adams saved Moree's blushes as Quirindi almost caused a huge boilover at Quirindi Rugby Park on Saturday.
The upset of the season looked on the cards when the Lions led with about five minutes remaining. But the Bulls managed to drag themselves out of the mire, Adams scoring on the bell to get them home 29-27.
It was a lucky escape, the disparity between their performance two weeks ago to beat defending champions Pirates the most disappointing thing for Bulls coach Damien Kelly.
"We were extremely disappointed with the way that we played," he said.
"Our attitude in defence, and our attitude full stop, wasn't great."
He said they didn't look like they were switched on and, as a team, just couldn't seem to get it together.
They were missing a handful of players, and in key positions, but Kelly wasn't using that as an excuse.
He said the side they had on the park was certainly good enough to do the job.
The one positive was they managed to find a way to win.
"We're pretty happy to get away with the points but we didn't deserve them," he said.
"Quirindi were more committed than us."
He paid credit to the Lions.
"Quirindi played well," he said.
"They showed a lot of spirit and they've obviously improved a lot."
Moving in from the wing to outside centre the late try was Adams' second of the game.
Kelly thought Nick Smith was good for them at half-back, while Will Smith played well on debut in the second row.
Jackson Fernance also made a big impact when he came on, running with good intent.
By contrast to his Bulls counterpart, Lions coach Col McKenzie couldn't have been prouder or happier with his sides effort.
"We really could have won it," he said.
"We were right in it right to the end."
They were up 24-22 at one stage, having fought back to tie up the game at 19-all early in the second half.
Having suffered plenty of hidings from the Bulls in recent years, the players, while gutted, where understandably also really happy with their performance.
"We've taken a huge leap of faith out of it," McKenzie said.
"I'm just excited for them. The work we've been doing at training is starting to come through."
And they're having fun, which for McKenzie is the most important thing.
"I think allround we just muscled up and were better across the whole team in defence," he said.
"And the forwards really played well. They really dug in and played 80 minutes of hard rugby. They took it up hard and defended well."
The biggest difference was they didn't fall off tackles, something they have been notorious for and really hurt them in the opening round against Pirates.
"The boys are getting better and better every week," McKenzie said.
He paid a lot of credit to the young players in the backline.
"The outside backs were outstanding," he said.
The backs scored all of the Lions points with Jake Murray, Angus McKenzie, James Clift and Ben Grant all finding the tryline.
Shifting to fullback the latter had a fantastic game and was for the second time in three games adjudged the Lions' players player.
In the other games Inverell scored their first win of the season downing Gunnedah 29-24, while Luke Tuckey pursed a hat-trick as Narrabri accounted for Scone 44-15.