TO SAY Brenton Cochrane is trying is the understatement of the season.
The brilliant playmaker is the captain-coach of the Narrabri Blues.
He's trying to guide them to a premiership, he's been trying to argue his case to referees because he always asks hard questions - which have earned him sin-binnings - and he's been trying to set up tries. In the process, he's scored 13 himself - the highest tally in the comp.
Narrabri is a side hanging on to a thin semi-final lifeline that became even more taut with last Sunday's 52-30 loss to Gunnedah at Kitchener Park.
It enabled Gunnedah to leapfrog the Blues back into fourth spot.
The Bulldogs tackle Boggabri for the Boyde Campbell Cup at Boggabri this Saturday and then host unbeaten competition leaders North Tamworth in the final round at Kitchener Park on August 17.
Narrabri face their moment of truth at Kootingal this Sunday against a Roosters side jostling for second spot with Werris Creek, and then tackle Dungowan Cowboys at home on August 18.
At age 35, Cochrane is still a wonderful player - gifted with pace, acceleration and a stinging fend.
Normally playing halfback, five-eighth or fullback, he's made the change to hooker - with outstanding results in recent weeks.
Against Gunnedah last round, he crossed for his shortest try of the year - a one metre hustle from dummy half to plant the ball under the black dot.
It was a game Narrabri could have won, with Cochrane making more than half a dozen breaks from dummy half, but the Blues just couldn't finish them off. It was frustrating for Cochrane.
"We just don't have experienced players in the side," he lamented of a team missing the likes of the injured Lachie Cameron.
"Don't get me wrong. I love the challenge of coaching."
He said he was just "frustrated" as he believed Narrabri could have won the Gunnedah clash.
"We've got to try and find the best combinations," he said.
"Beating Kootingal over there is going to be a big ask."
When he bursts clear from dummy half, he needs support.
Even then, the Blues need a little luck to go their way. Against Gunnedah, Cochrane pierced the front line a number of times.
But the Bulldogs' backs managed to herd him, away from his support, and shut down the danger.
A few times Brenton waited and ran to his support to try and send them away but that fell apart as well.
One thing for sure is that the Roosters are going to be in for a trying time around the ruck on Sunday.
TOOHEYS GROUP 4 FIRST GRADE LADDER
P W L D Bye For A Diff Pts
NORTH TAMWORTH 12 11 0 0 1 564 134 430 24
WERRIS CREEK 12 7 4 0 2 304 316 -12 16
KOOTINGAL 12 6 5 0 2 306 275 71 15
GUNNEDAH 12 4 5 1 2 276 200 76 13
NARRABRI 12 4 6 0 2 307 394 -87 12
DUNGOWAN 12 2 7 0 2 224 360 -136 9
BOGGABRI 12 2 8 0 2 18 382 -202 8
Kootingal receive a point for losing to Narrabri in golden point extra time.
TOOHEYS GROUP 4 POINTSCORERS
Unofficial and compiled by Geoff Newling as at Monday, August 5.
TOOHEYS GROUP 4 TRYSCORERS
13: Brenton Cochrane (Narrabri).
12: Josh Schmiedel, Andrew Moodie (North Tamworth), Matt Brady (Gunnedah).
11: Zac Nigro (NT).
10: Will Saunders (Kootingal), Aaron Donnelly (G).
9: Scott Blanch (NT).
8: Jack Rumsby, Jordan Sharpe (K), Kieran Williams (Werris Creek), Jake McManus, Jeremy York (NT), Isaiah Adams (N).
7: Kyle Cochrane (K), Ethan Collins, Brett Jarrett (Dungowan), Bailey Lennox (Boggabri).
6: Issah Millgate, Cody Tickle (WC), Jack Anderson (K), Shane Wadwell (NT).
5: Miles Kearney, Harlee Millgate, Nathaniel Slater (WC), Richard Clegg, Kieran Fisher (NT), Dylan Lake (G).
4: Brady Jenkins, Jess O'Neil, Josh Trindall (N), Ben Anderson, Shaun Ferguson, Matt Jenner (D), Matt Gillham (B), Scott Berry, Zac Leonard, Dwight Millgate (WC), Brock Wadwell (NT), Jesse Campbell (K).
3: Bryce Daniels (WC), Logan Howard, Ryley Taylor (K), Luke Fisher, Mitch Sheridan (NT), Matt Baker, Kurt Hartmann, Lachlan King (G), Toby Bentley, Raymond Goodwin, Travis Small, Adam Suckling (N), Nathan Millar, Jayde Campbell (B), Nathan Maguire (D).
2: Anthony Smith, Chris Vidler, Ben Williams (K), Alec Cocking, Ryan Ingram, Jack Patterson (NT), Marty Shaw (WC), Ben Nash, Matt Wilson (D), Blake Hilderson, Tristan Lamb (N), Nick Altman, Reece Jaeger, Blake McIlveen, Jason Smith, Lincon Smith (G), Matt Avendano, Jack Gillham, Kahn Juhnke, Jesse McCarthy, Nick Millar (B).
1: Jamie Bailey, Thomas Browne, Scott Hogg, Sam Lumby (WC), Brayden Jerrard, Leroy Livermore, Cameron McDonald, Brad Vidler (K), Tom Borger, Justin Bradbury, Eathen Byrne, Lochie Collins, Clay Frendin, Ethan Sherlock, Rhys Sherrin, Brendon Steel, Brock Morgan (D), Chris Binge, Lachlan Cameron, Robert Condron, Holt Cubis, Grant Green, Daniel Jobson, Justin Knight, James Smith (N), Jarred Adams, Ben Haire, Nic Hobden, Cameron Lewington, Steve Taylor, Jay Urquhart (B), Luke Boorer, Jackson Brookman, John Blunden, Kurt Hartmann, Rhyce Kliendienst, Liam Ireland, Deacon Sankey, Paul Sharpley, Regan Walsh (G), Cody Byrne, Nic Dobson, Ben Jarvis, Brock Wadwell (NT).