BATHURST Bulldogs turned Ashwood Park into an impenetrable fortress during the 2018 Blowes Clothing Cup season.
Like a well-stocked army standing behind a towering wall of stone, Bulldogs repelled every siege that came their way and didn't lose a single game at their home ground.
They don't see any reason why the supplies should dwindle or that the wall should crack in 2019.
Bulldogs start their bid for another unbeaten home run this Saturday against an Orange City side determined to rebound after a disappointing wooden spoon season.
Bulldogs coach Dean Oxley said the Lions' 15-3 first round defeat to the Cowra Eagles - a game locked 3-all at half-time - demonstrates that City are heading in the right direction.
"I've heard numbers are positive and that Viv Paasi has done a great job in generating a positive culture to attract players to the club," Oxley said.
"They'll be up for this game. They're on a mission to get back to the level they used to be at.
"The thing with the competition is there's no easy games. If you don't play good football you're not going to win. Forbes almost knocking off Emus last week was no surprise. The young guys leading the club will be inspired by that result.
"Cam Cole is a very good representative footballer who gives them direction they lacked. His skill set is very impressive and they've got a large forward line who will look to punch holes through our defence."
Bulldogs were 36-19 over Dubbo Kangaroos in last Saturday's opening round.
Bathurst's excellent start to the game set the foundation for the victory and it's a similar start Oxley is chasing against the Lions in a bid to go two from two.
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"It's a great start to the year. We'd been out-enthused the year before ... when Dubbo smashed us across the park," he said.
"Accumulating early points and keeping hold of possession really took the wind out of their sails on Saturday.
"We had seven new faces in a side that was pretty disorganised, to be honest, but they did a great job and all managed to fall into our system really well."
They'll be up for this game. They're on a mission to get back to the level they used to be at.Dean Oxley
Hayden Leopold has been granted the opportunity to face his former club courtesy of his second grade hat-trick against 'Roos last round.
He's earned the promotion to first grade winger.
Bulldogs captain Peter Fitzsimmons comes back to number 8 as Sean Fogarty lines up at hooker.
Will Oldham gets his first starting spot of the season at fly-half and Justin Mobbs starts at second rower.
BATHURST BULLDOGS: 1 Aaron Booby, 2 Sean Fogarty, 3 Joel Harper, 4 Justin Mobbs, 5 Dylan Carter, 6 Mark Donnelly, 7 Alex Weal, 8 Peter Fitzsimmons (c), 9 Adam Miles, 10 Will Oldham, 11 Riley Hanrahan, 12 James Woolmington, 13 Harry Webber, 14 Hayden Leopold, 15 Joe Nash
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