Orange Hawks' league tag coach Steve Pearson is under no illusion as to the size of the target on his players' backs in 2020.
The two-time champions are fresh off a 22-0 shutout of Orange CYMS, a clash that promised to be hotly-contested after the green and golds stole a game off Pearson's girls in last year's semi finals.
The opening exchanges gave fans razor close football but once the coach sat his girls down at quarter time, the scoreline began to shift.
The premiers stretched an 8-0 half-time lead into a double-digit full time deficit, reaffirming their position as competition favourites ahead of a round three visit to Mudgee for a tilt with the Dragons. "They [CYMS] have a good coach and they certainly turned up to play," Pearson said.
"We went away from what we were doing at training and we tried to go around them instead of through them. Once we played more straight we had some success.
"All the teams we play for here on in will really want to beat us."
Part of what's led to Hawks having such a successful start to the season is the amount of fun the girls are having and Pearson emphasised how relieved the girls are to be back on the field after a torrid start to 2020.
"A lot of these girls are doing their year 12 - including my daughter - and for them it's been a really crap year," he said.
"These girls use sport as an outlet so they're really happy to be back on the field and playing again.
"Even at training... they're having fun and there's nothing too serious going on. They get serious when they need to be it's a lot of fun for them right now."
The side will gear up an away trip to Mudgee this weekend which would normally shape as a danger game but Pearson's got confidence in his side's composure and mentioned how much the girls like playing at Glen Willow.
"It's tough going over to Mudgee but there's so much experience on this team," he said.
"A lot of the girls have played together before and they all know what to do and how to win games. "The girls really enjoy playing on that ground and enjoy going over there."
Pearson highlighted an example of Hawks' ability to win games, citing the dying stages of last year's decider against CYMS.
"It was 10-all and it was really late in the game and I said to them, 'it will take an individual effort to win the game or a mistake to lose the game'," he said.
"They made a mistake and one of our girls was there to win the game for us. "There's not much between all of these sides but our experience has us in a really good spot." Glen Willow Sporting Complex is the destination for a 12.30pm kick-off.
HAVE YOUR SAY
- Send us a letter to the editor using the form below ...