Dubbo CYMS can make a statement with victory over Nyngan on Saturday and former Tigers Brad Pickering will be key to that happening.
Pickering left Nyngan for the Fishies during the off-season and continues to settle in the five-eighth role under Tim Ryan.
He will have a bog job to do alongside halfback Alex Bonham on Saturday as CYMS tries to navigate its way around the Tigers’ powerful forward pack and Fishies centre Jyie Chapman has backed the one-time Western Rams to get it done.
“We’ve been talking to him at training and said if he doesn’t help us win we’re going to give it to him,” Chapman laughed.
You always want to do that when you play your old club. You want to outshine them.
“But he’s keen to get out there and have a big game and you always want to do that when you play your old club. You want to outshine them.”
Saturday’s clash shapes as one of the matches of the season so far.
CYMS and Nyngan have developed a healthy rivalry in recent seasons with last year’s 8-7 win to the Fishies at Larkin Park hailed by many as one of the best matches in recent times.
Chapman expects this match at Caltex Park to be no different.
“It’s always a hard game so this one will be a tough game too,” he said.
“They’ve just got a big forward pack and some good outside backs. They’re just good all-round and with guys like (Reece) Goldsmith and Jacob Neill there’s a lot of good leadership out there and they get them around the park.”
With Parkes defeating the Forbes Magpies last week, CYMS has the chance to put some space between itself and the rest of the competition with victory on Saturday.
A win over the Tigers would not only keep the Fishies’ run going, it would move the side four points clear of its nearest rival.
“It’s going to be a hard game but if we do get the win it would be a big boost for all the boys,” Chapman said.
“It’s one of our biggest challenges so far this year so a win would be good for us.”
Coach Tim Ryan has been adamant his side hasn’t hit its best form yet this season and Chapman echoed that, saying better performances in the next two matches are crucial.
“There’s still a lot of improvement left. We’re still gelling and there’s new players who have been getting used to the plays,” he said.
“We’re going well at the moment and we’ve got some improvement in us which will be important this week and in the final game of the round next week against Forbes.”
Saturday’s action starts with League Tag at 1pm.