Struggle is not a word people would associate with the Narromine Gorillas in recent times but club stalwart Craig Campbell admitted it's what his side might do in the early round of the New Holland Agriculture Cup.
After a round one bye the Gorillas returned to the field last weekend and in what is a bit of a rarity, suffered a loss at Mudgee.
The side is back at home this weekend for a clash with the Dubbo Rhinos and with so many new faces in the team, others unavailable, and a lack of strong pre-season it's not quite the same Gorillas side which has played in three successive grand finals.
"It's going to take time," Campbell said.
"We'll struggle to blend in a bit but after the first game the older blokes will be a bit more switched on and the younger blokes know what to expect and know the pace of the game.
"I still think we can give it good nudge."
Six players made their Gorillas debut last season and while it was a pleasing moment to run out with some graduating club juniors, Campbell didn't get to see a lot of the match.
The club president and someone who has been a captain and coach with Gorillas went down awkwardly inside the first few minutes and suffered a shoulder injury.
It's one which could keep the influential back-rower off the park for some time, and against the Rhinos the side will also be without current captain Tim Allworth.
But with players like George Hancock still in the ranks and Luke Brown and Charlie Tuck nearing a return as well as youngsters like Jack Bell and Taine Marchant already making a mark there's still positivity around the club.
"I still think we'll be competitive, it's just different," Campbell said.
The Gorillas are coming off a 12-7 loss at Mudgee last weekend.
And while Campbell didn't see much of the game due to his injury he was part of the debrief.
Simply, as is the case for most new-look sides, things didn't click.
"We just couldn't convert territory and pressure into points," he said.
"There's a lot of new guys who are not used to our game plan and hopefully we can be very competitive.
"It's not that we're unfit, we were a little unprepared."
Seeing the younger players hold their own in the top grade was a real plus last week.
Ratu Roko, who played rugby league with the Narromine Jets last year, was another to make his debut at Mudgee.
Saturday will be a special one for the Narromine club as two life memberships awarded while a surprise appreciation day for a long-serving member of the Gorillas community is also planned.
First grade kicks off at 3.15pm at Cale Oval.