Western got on the board in round one of the Laurie Daley Cup with a hard-fought draw against the Penrith Panthers at Glen Willow.
In round two, the Rams then took the next step with a crucial win over the Riverina at Forbes.
Now, the next step?
Unleashing fullback Benji Glasheen.
Western will travel to the Collegians Sports Complex at Wollongong for Saturday’s round three under-18 country championship clash with the Illawarra South Coast Dragons.
Given Western won the under-18 title last season and the Dragons’ catchment in the rugby league-renowned Illawarra, both teams are expected to push for top two spots in the Daley Cup’s southern pool.
The Dragons suffered a round one loss to Monaro, but bounced back last week with a victory over Penrith.
Western coach Paul McDonald says Western edging its south coast rivals for one of those top two spots will come down to his Rams being more disciplined and getting star fullback Glasheen injected into the play.
“We still leaked too many penalties which put us under pressure (last week against Riverina),” McDonald said.
“I think we’ll look to play flatter and more direct, which should help bring Benji in the play.
“He’s the master of his own destiny, so to speak. I’m really encouraging him to sniff around the rucks.
“He’s got that licence to appear wherever he wants to, but as yet we haven’t got him involved as much as I’d like.”
McDonald was impressed with his side’s 24-22 win over the Bulls last weekend, which was played in scorching heat at Spooner Oval.
Condobolin-based prop David White, who plays in Group 11 with the Spacemen, was tremendous up front for the Rams, his off-loading a feature in the second half.
McDonald said emulating that sort of performance will be key for Western on its first road trip of the championship.
Gun rake Campbell Woolnough has again not been named for the defending champions.
Kick-off between Western and the Dragons is at 10.45am on Saturday.
- WESTERN: 1 Benjamin Glasheen (Parkes Spaceman), 2 Denis Spathis (Condobolin Rams), 3 Brock Naden (Wellington Cowboys), 4 Coopa Martin (Forbes Magpies), 5 Zarrin Galea (Dubbo CYMS), 6 Harry Blake (Nyngan Tigers), 7 Josh Board (Orange CYMS), 8 Colby Peckham (Dubbo CYMS), 9 Paddy Haycock (Dubbo CYMS), 10 David White (Condobolin Rams), 11 Thomas Stimpson (Dubbo CYMS), 12 Bradley Fearnley (Bathurst Panthers), 13 Luke Bain (c) (Bathurst Panthers); Bench: 14 Nathan Swain (Orange CYMS), 15 Aaron Mawhinney (Forbes Magpies), 16 Nick Booth (Bathurst St Pat’s), 17 Tyrone Harrison (Orange CYMS), 18 Benjamin Davis (Forbes Magpies).