BOTH Orange CYMS and Orange Hawks have a point to prove tonight.
The two square off in round one of the 2012 Group 10 competition under lights at Wade Park, battling it out for the Orange Rugby League Centenary Cup in a game marking the 100th birthday of rugby league in the city of Orange.
But don’t be fooled.
Tonight’s game means a lot more than just the two competition points on offer and a shiny new cup.
Both are desperate to begin this winter with a win.
And for the two blues, as they embark on their first game back in Group 10 after being booted out of last year’s competition, it’s the dawning of a new era.
So how are Hawks approaching the 2012 competition?
Do they feel like they have a point to prove?
“Definitely. Like every year you want to go out and win it. We’re banking on that,” club-captain Glen Bunworth said.
“For the rest of the competition, a lot of the other teams have strengthened.
“Lithgow are always strong, Mudgee they’re going to be strong, Cowra must be strong, they beat CYMS and Oberon they beat us so they’re looking pretty good too.”
James Wynne has taken over the captain-coach’s role at Hawks, bringing a wealth of experience to the club.
“He has brought a lot to the club just with professionalism,” Bunworth said.
“New ideas, fresh ideas. Everyone is keen and having Garret (Crossman) as well, it’s only a couple of years since he was playing the big stuff so just his ideas and having him around, all the other boys have lifted.”
They’ll face an understrength CYMS aiming to begin their quest for a third straight Group 10 title with a victory.
What is it going to take to complete the hat-trick?
“I guess some resilience this year,” Mick Sullivan said.
“We’ve already shown we’re a bit injury-prone at the start of the season but I’d rather have (injuries) at the start of the year than the back end of it. Those first few games it’s about getting some continuity and getting some combinations right and working with the squad we’ve got.
“Early wins are very important so hopefully we can post a few points early and our combinations flow on from that and it puts us in a good position for the rest of the year.”