Reputations would suggest Dubbo Kangaroos should start as short-priced favourite to beat Parkes in their round three Blowes Clothing Cup match on Saturday.
But a combination of factors has Roos skipper Shaun McHugh wary of the Boars.
Parkes have won their opening two matches, demolishing Mudgee before travelling to Cowra and beating a handy Eagles outfit.
In contrast the Roos lost their opening clash to Forbes on the road before scoring a strong win at home against Orange City before Easter.
“Parkes have started the season well, which is good,” McHugh said.
“They struggled a fair bit last year but they have obviously put in the work to turn that around, and it’s never easy going down there.
“They’re a tough club, a proud club, and regardless of where you are on the ladder you know when you go down there they’re going to rip in and make it a tough afternoon.”
The Roos will be down on personnel for Saturday’s match, with No.8 Tom Sheridan out with a hamstring complaint, and Sam Clements and Simon Hegarty both unavailable.
It leaves the side relying on its depth against a traditionally strong pack.
“It’s not ideal but we can’t do anything about it. We have to take the best possible team down there, play well and hope to come away with a win,” McHugh said.
“We have a general bye next week, so it’s a stop-start beginning to the competition, but that just means that wins early are more important because the rust that we have early will go away as the season goes along.”