Dubbo CYMS may have lost only one game this season but coach Shawn Townsend knows finals are a different beast altogether.
Townsend's men will host Orange CYMS in one of two Peter McDonald Premiership major semi-finals on Sunday, a match which will see the sides meet for the first time in a competitive match in 2022.
Having finished the season as the top side across Group 10 and Group 11, Townsend said his side is eager to get out onto the field this weekend as the pressure matches begin.
"We are ready to go, looking back at the last couple of weeks they've probably been ready to go," he said.
"The last two weeks we might have taken our eye off the ball for those games but they are ready.
"They are excited and pumped."
While they didn't play a Premiership match this season, the two CYMS sides meet in an annual trial game but Townsend knows Sunday's visiting team will look a lot different.
"They came out earlier in the year but it wasn't their full side so it wasn't much to go off," he said.
"I watched a little bit of video on them, we still rate Daniel Mortimer as the best player in the comp.
"I think he had 10 years in the NRL and we've got no one.
"We rate them highly, they've got a good pack.
"They've had a good side for a long time so we are under no illusions that it's just going to be given to us."
Mudgee thumped Orange CYMS in their last match while their Dubbo counterparts, enjoyed a tight 16-10 win over Macquarie but Townsend knows his side has a chance to improve come Sunday.
"We found a way to win in the end, I don't think we played our best footy," he said.
"We got bogged down and blew a few opportunities, we created some chances but there were a few mistakes.
"We just turned the ball over a bit cheaply on the first tackle so if we can just tidy that up then we think we can give ourselves enough opportunities."
Dubbo CYMS will be without captain Jarryn Powyer for Sunday's match with Tom Stimpson named to start at prop while Jeremy Thurston has been named in the centres but don't expect him to remain there for the full match.
Over the course of the season, Thurston has spent time at fullback swapping Brad Pickering and Townsend said the pair came up with the idea on their own.
"They just do that, it doesn't come from the coaches or anything," he said.
"Normally he is right involved from the start of the game but he had his knee strapped so it took him a bit.
"Second half he was really good, he created a few chances but might need a bit more support if or when he goes back to fullback."
Thurston finished the season on 18 tries, the most of any player in the competition and his coach believes his star centre deserves all the rewards he receives.
"He's got all the attributes, he is tall and super strong," he said.
"He is super fit, I don't know what he was like before but he is a great trainer.
"He has become a real leader around the club.
"He is in a good space, I see him around at work sometimes and he has a big smile on his face."
Orange CYMS captain-coach Daniel Mortimer could be in doubt for the match after leaving the field in the first minute of his side's match against Mudgee last week.
Kick off for the match is at 2pm.
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