RECRUITING is arguably a more crucial component of the off-season at CSU compared to most clubs.
If you were going to grade the students' efforts this year then it must be considered an A-plus effort.
Not only has the club seen excellent numbers across their training sessions but first grade are already on the board in 2019's New Holland Agriculture Cup thanks to a win over Blayney Rams.
New recruits like Jonah Ruzgas, Aden Macdougall and Fraser Robertson were a part of that first round success and they're confident of adding another win to the club's name during an away trip to Mudgee Wombats on Saturday.
Second rower Ruzgas has been enjoying the shift to CSU after coming across from Parkes Boars - the club who stopped the students in their tracks during last year's preliminary final.
The most refreshing aspect was playing in a CSU pack winning the war of the forwards.
"The mood's really good. Most were just keen to get out there and have a crack," he said of the Blayney win.
"It's the first time that we've really dominated a side in the forwards. Having played for Parkes last year, that was the thing when playing CSU. The forward pack wasn't the strongest so it's great to win a forward battle in physicality."
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Ruzgas, at the age of just 17, made his first grade debut for Parkes last year.
He's hoping to bring the lessons he learned from that campaign into his new club.
"There's a great culture at CSU. At Parkes there were only a couple of us under 21 ... but at CSU it's like one big family because everyone's close to the same age," he said.
"It was disappointing getting beaten by Narromine in the grand final last year. Hopefully with CSU we can get there this year and do the job."
CSU's new blindside flanker Macdougall boasts top-level metropolitan junior rugby experience having arrived at the university from Eastern Suburbs' colts outfit.
He's enjoyed the move west thus far and was been buoyed by the club's attitude through the pre-season.
"There's a positive atmosphere at the club. As a first-year I was welcomed with open arms, which is really good to see when joining a new club," he said.
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"Strong numbers at training makes for a better atmosphere when you're playing.
"It's great to get a win in the first game so hopefully we can build from that and keep our winning mentality going."
CSU hooker Robertson was very much amongst the physical battle last round.
The Cowra native is expecting more of the same from a Mudgee side who could come out firing after their 55-0 loss to Narromine.
"It was physical over the first half then everyone gelled, knew what they had to do, then put a few points on them before sticking it out," he said of CSU's recent win.
"We played Mudgee in a trial game and that was a good hit out. I expect them to be fired up after their loss last week."