THEY are undefeated, sit nine points clear on top of the ladder and have beaten every side in this year's Blowes Clothing Cup premiership, but Bathurst Bulldogs still have boxes to tick.
Naturally going on to win the premiership is the ultimate goal for coach Dean Oxley and his squad, but along the way there are other targets the Bulldogs mentor has set.
One of them is beating Orange Emus at Endeavour Oval when the competition resumes after this Saturday's general bye.
The last time Bulldogs were able to win on Emus' home turf was when prevailing 28-17 on June 19, 2010.
So we're really looking forward to being tested up there. They are the benchmark and we are coming for them.Bathurst Bulldogs coach Dean Oxley
It was a game in which current Bulldog Will Oldham, then an Emu, tried hard to inspire his side with a try, two conversions and a penalty goal but three first half tries set up the Bathurst outfit.
Bulldogs have come close to downing Emus at Endeavour since then, most notably in 2016 when it took an Andrew Selwood injury-time try and Nigel Stanforth conversion to see the greens snatch a 13-11 win.
The Bathurst side has also beaten Emus at Ashwood Park since then too - prevailing 39-35 last year and 21-15 earlier this season - but Oxley is hungry to end the Endeavour hoodoo.
"Our goal now is around Emus at home to be honest, it is the game of the year for us," he said.
"We only get to go there once this year and as I said to the boys, I don't follow stats very closely, but I know it has been a lot of years since we've beaten them there in Orange.
"Beating them here at Anne Ashwood this year and last year, that was the first time in about eight years we'd beaten them at home. Away it might be 10 years since we've beaten them.
"So we're really looking forward to being tested up there. They are the benchmark and we are coming for them."
Though Emus have lost three games compared to Cowra's two in 2019, the greens are sitting in second thanks to earning more bonus points than the Eagles.
A win at Endeavour would boost Bulldogs' already comfortable buffer earned on the back of eight consecutive wins, but Oxley knows his men must keep working if they are to snare a premiership crown. He knows that a strong start is no assurance of grand final glory.
"We got the jump, that was the plan with the strong off-season training program led by Pip McIntosh and good trial games," he said.
"But that stuff is now done and dusted, we are into the second half basically of the round games. So we've taken advantage, we've got a bit of a lead, and now it's about if we can progress as other teams will be getting better as they go through the season.
"I'm not suggesting we've got anything already secured, we are nowhere near it to be honest, we'll start again once the new competition begins in the semi-finals.
"We are wanting to put ourselves in a strong position and hosting a major semi is a major goal. That will give us a springboard, if we're good enough we're good enough, if not then we will have to re-look at what we're doing at the back end of seasons."
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