Bathurst Panthers will have to be mindful of a winless Blayney Bears on Sunday afternoon, as the game has the potential to be a “danger game” according to manager Danny Dwyer.
While Panthers are coming off a derby victory in their last outing – a 36-14 win over St Pat’s on July 2 – Dwyer said the pressure is on his team.
“It’s one of those danger games, where you’re expected to win,” he said.
“On the back of our results, the boys will be looking to put on a good performance and they’ll be raring to go.
“We’ll be looking forward to it, to get back into the grove after the week-off with a good performance against Blayney.”
Panthers enjoyed the week-off last weekend, as their round 13 game against Orange Hawks was played forward for the NRL clash at Carrington Park on June 10.
Dwyer said the week-off has benefited the side.
“We’ve had the same forward pack for the whole season and not many have had time off. Many of them have been playing 80 minute games,” he said.
“We got a strong run home, so we’re still hopeful of the minor premiership. Otherwise we’ll be making sure we lock in second spot.”
Doug Hewitt will return for Panthers and will slot into the fullback role with Jeremy Gordon with one more week to serve on a suspension.
Kyle Byrnes still has another two weeks on the sideline, after a suspension from the 30-all Orange CYMS game on June 25.
Dwyer said Panthers will have to mindful of Bears’ forward pack.
“They haven’t won a game yet, which is hard to understand with some of their performances,” he said.
“They’ve got some young guys and they’re in the development stage. They’ll be looking to change things up.
“Blayney have got a good record against us, so they’ll be looking to continue that.”
The game against Bears, will followed by a bye and three home games against Cowra Magpies, Mudgee Dragons and Oberon Tigers to finish the season.
Kick-off in the premier league match between Panthers and Blayney is at 1.40pm at Carrington Park.