Go two steps further, that’s Bathurst Bulldogs’ plan for this year’s Blowes Clothing Cup.
The Bulldogs came within a game of qualifying for the 2016 grand final, the Bathurst outfit beaten by the Forbes Platypi 18-9 in the preliminary final at Spooner Oval.
It all starts at Anne Ashwood Park on Friday night, when Bulldogs host CSU Bathurst in a blockbuster, season-opening local derby.
“We really want to go all the way,” Bulldogs coach Nathan Pearce said.
“We’ll take it week by week, but it’s good to have that long term goal.
“The boys are ready to go. There was a big cheer when we announced pre-season was over on Tuesday.
“There’s no more preparation and motivation needed.”
Pearce is cautious of the threat CSU pose because of the great unknown their heavily student-based squad presents.
“They’ve got an issue going on up there with their colts, but that should have no [impact on the first XV],” he said.
“They always give us a tough game. They generally contest the breakdown well, which makes it difficult to play with width.”
Pearce believes the conditions might be wet and affect the flow of the game, which in turn could place a greater importance on the sides’ kicking games.
But if they experience wet weather, Pearce still wants to play an attacking brand of rugby.
“We want to play with possession and play at an exciting pace,” he said.
“Our set-piece is reasonably good and from reports, we had one of the best scrums in competition last year.
“Hopefully that will set us in order and help get us on the scoreboard early.”
There have been a few changes in Bulldogs’ squad in the off-season, including players leaving, joining and stepping up from lower grades.
“We’ve got Buzz Webber on the wing. He’s been a Central West trialist, so I’m interested to see how he’ll go,” Pearce said.
“Adam Dwyer leaves a big hole, but I’m confident we’ve got enough to cover him.
“Sam Roberson is stepping up into the captaining position and Peter Fitzsimmons has been rewarded for his consistency, stepping up to vice-captain.
“We’ve got the likes of Adam Plummer and Brad Glasson stepping up from colts and Scott Johnston and Izaak Breen returning from last season.”
Kick off is set down for 7.30pm.