As one of a stack of new faces in blue and white this Group 10 season, Sam Dwyer’s weekly dose of rugby league is like channeling your inner Forrest Gump and diving head first into a box of chocolates – you just never know what you’re going to get.
But there is one thing the live-wire fullback is fully across.
On the back of a three-game losing streak, Dwyer knows St Pat’s can’t afford to drop a fourth consecutive match when the Bathurst club travels to Sid Kallas Oval to take on Cowra, one of a handful of impressive sides in this year’s title race.
A month without a win is a long time, and the former Parkes Spacemen and Group 11 player of the year is keen to help lift the injury ravaged St Pat’s back into the winner’s circle.
“We’re looking for that win pretty bad,” Dwyer said, St Pat’s last victory a 16-10 win over Oberon back in round three, a third-straight triumph for 2018.
“We were on a bit of a role at the start with a full strength squad. Injuries have hampered us but in saying that the guys that have come in have been great.
“We’ve got a few back from injury that we haven’t had for the last couple of weeks, not since the Panthers game, anyway.
“But our spirits are still really high and we’re ready for the game.”
One of those players returning from injury is prop Jack Mackey.
His impact will be key in taking some of the pressure off starting bookends Zac Merritt and McCoy White, especially considering the strength of Cowra’s 2018 squad is its pack.
Blake Tidswell is arguably the most under-rated player in Group 10, while Benji John helped St Pat’s to the club’s last premier league title in 2014.
Ron Lawrence is a stalwart, Mitch Browne and Jay McClintock impressive while skipper Josh Rainbow has lifted several gears since switching back to his junior club this season.
Dwyer’s under no illusions.
Sunday’s game will be won and lost up front.
“They’re pretty handy all over the park. There’s no weaknesses in their pack or in their backs, but as is always the case these games will be won there in the forwards,” he said.
“If we win that, get on front foot and we can score points from there.”
A regular in Parkes’ first grade side for half a decade in Group 11 before making the move east to link with St Pat’s, Dwyer says the challenge of lining up against new teams each week in Group 10 is one he’s relishing.
“Playing new faces and stuff like that has been good, it’s a real challenge but I’m enjoying it,” Dwyer said.
“All the boys have helped me out too which has been great. It’s definitely tough at the moment but we can turn it around.”
Sunday’s game is at Sid Kallas Oval, Cowra.