IT'S rare territory for the Bathurst Bulldogs to be in: Starting down the barrel of three straight defeats to start the Blowes Clothing Cup season.
If they don't want to let that happen then coach Matt McRobert knows their defence has to click into gear against a Forbes Platypi side also chasing their first win of the season.
Bulldogs will be looking to reconstruct their fortress at Ashwood Park after losing their three-year home winning streak last Saturday to the Orange Emus in the grand final rematch.
McRobert said the rivalry with Forbes has an excellent history, and it will undoubtedly produce another great game this weekend.
"Bulldogs and Forbes have a history dating back to when they beat us out at Grinstead Oval in 2003 where I was unfortunate enough to be the first grade coach for Bulldogs that day. Even though we lost it was one of the great Central West grand finals
"We love playing Forbes. They'll bring an experienced forward pack and a strong backline.
"We have to defend better than we have done over the last couple of weeks. We need to have the right attitude and defensive setup for Forbes there.
"If I know Forbes at all they'll want to take us on up front. They've got Jarrod Hall, Charlie French, Darren Coles who are big, physical forwards. We have to muscle up on the inside ... and be more competitive at the breakdown."
Bulldogs will obviously not want to enter the bye next round without a win to their name but McRobert said the team should never lose sight of their other aims for a COVID-affected 2020 season.
"A great result would be to win all our games but that's not our sole reason for taking to the field this year during these crazy times that we've had. It's about getting some normality into proceedings," he said.
"The other part of this season is making sure we put the club in good shape for the future. Getting the young guys involved is a big focus. We're lucky to have the likes of Scott Johnston, Sean Fogarty and Phil Tonkin in the squad to show the younger fellas a thing or two about being a Bulldog."
Kick-off is 3.15pm.