For Orange CYMS prop Cam Jones, this is personal.
Alongside Group 10 monster Chris Bamford and boom rookie Joe Duffy, the work-a-holic front-rower is hoping to get over the top of the St Pat’s pack at Bathurst on Sunday.
The round 10 clash is the opening fixture of the second round for both teams, but Jones’ green and golds are desperate to maintain an unbeaten record.
And to do so, Jones believes he and his fellow forwards will have to do a number of opposing big boppers Greg Behan and Brady Cheshire – arguably St Pat’s two best players during a tough 2017 campaign for the Saints.
“You do take it personally when you come up against another good pack, which St Pat’s have,” Jones said.
“It’s up to us to get on top of them so the likes of Sully and Petrie can do their thing.”
When Jones says us, he’s referring to some serious forward power in the likes of Bamford and Duffy, the latter very impressive since making the step up from under 18s.
But as impressive has Duffy has been, and Jones too for that matter, it’s impossible not to be in awe of what Bamford has done for CYMS this season.
“It’s great to have him, he’s like Ozzie but a step up again,” Jones said, clearly relishing packing down alongside one of CRL’s best players.
“We challenge each other and when he takes the ball up it’s up to me to try and better that. It’s good competition.”
Jones was rapt with the way young bull Duffy has come along too.
“He’s certainly earned his spot. He’s probably played better in first grade than he did when he was in reserves,” he added.
In a massive boost for CYMS, coach Mick Sullivan has been named to return from a calf injury he sustained in a massive 84-8 win over Lithgow in round eight.
The inclusion of the former NRL half gives the green and golds’ backline an injection of experience, with young pivots Lachie Munro and Toby Westcott both on the bench.
Jones believes the addition of the four-time premiership winner will help CYMS’ already flourishing attach reach new heights.
“We don’t really have a set game plan (to throw the ball around), but with Sully and Petrie in the halves our structure and our shape in our backline is pretty good,” Jones said.
“It’s just up to guys like myself, Bam and Joe Duffy to get the team going forward so we can shift the ball fluently off the back of that.” Kick-off is at 2.15pm at the Bathurst Sportsground. League tag kicks off at 10.30am.