THEY'VE seen off part one of what is arguably the toughest back-to-back set of matches in Group 10 premier league but can the Bathurst Panthers finish the away leg of that endeavour?
Panthers went to the outright lead in the competition following last round's top-of-the-table clash at home against the Mudgee Dragons and they will back themselves to repeat the winning result against the Orange Hawks.
Despite a physical contest against the Dragons the Panthers have pulled through unscathed, and will give themselves a big boost for the Hawks match by fielding an unchanged team.
Panthers president Dennis Comerford said the journey towards the midpoint of the season over the next few weeks is all about riding the wave of momentum generated by the four game winning run to start the year.
"The boys are full of confidence at the moment, especially getting a win over Mudgee who are the benchmark in Group 10 at the moment," he said.
"We know that Hawks are going to be a tough ask. They're a hard, physical side and over the last two years we've found some luck against them and have had to come from behind to beat them.
"We've had success over them both here and in Orange. To get two big wins in a row would really do wonders for the boys."
There has certainly been some entertaining games between these two clubs in recent times.
Their last meeting came in the 2018 preliminary final where Panthers scored the last 16 points of the match to run away 38-22 winners.
Keep up to date with the latest sports news by clicking here.
Way back in round one of the 2018 season the Panthers produced an inspired comeback from 30-6 down to finish level at 30-all.
This Sunday they would prefer to put themselves in a less nail biting position.
To do that they will have to keep their discipline at a much higher level than what was on display in the second half against the Dragons.
"They know where they went wrong and recognised that they let themselves get intimidated by Mudgee, which led to them giving away penalties," Comerford said.
"They will correct that on the weekend and they know not to get tied up in any rubbish that goes on out there and stick to the style of football which works best for them.
"The whole club is riding high at the moment. First grade haven't lost a competition game since August last year ... and I guess I didn't expect them to be sitting on top of the ladder at this stage, though we knew we could be in the arm wrestle with the other clubs.
"We'd be happy to be in the top five at this stage but to be leading outright is a very big deal. It really helps to set up the rest of our season."
The match at Wade Park gets underway at 2.30pm.