LowesMount Road is set to erupt on Sunday as the two feel-good stories of the Group 10 premier league competition converge for a top-of-the-table clash between Oberon and Blayney.

The Tigers will host Blayney as they look to make it seven wins on the trot to open their season, while the Bears can stake their own claim for top spot on the ladder if they can cause an upset.

Given some of the names they had attracted during the off-season, Oberon probably haven’t surprised a lot of people with their improvement, but to be six from six is above expectations no matter who was coming into their side.

Blayney’s pre-season troubles were well documented with the disappearance of popular star half-back Terry Brown, but they have defied the hardship to claim four wins from five matches.

Their only loss came against Mudgee, while they have had a bye as well.

“After what happened with Terry I was a bit surprised to see how well they were doing,” Oberon captain-coach Zac Rowlandson said of the Bears.

“But having seen how well they’ve done in the time since, we have to be very wary of them.

“I think we can potentially expose them a little bit out wide, but they have a very good forward pack at the moment and they have a lot of points in them through that middle third of the field. It will be a tough contest.”

While Rowlandson and his team understand implicitly that nothing is won in May or June, he says that the idea of going through an entire round of matches undefeated is a major goal for his club because of what it could offer further down the track.

They play St Pat’s in their last match of the first half of the season.

“If we can get to the second half of the competition without a loss it would be huge. It just means that if you get a few injuries, or something happens that you haven’t factored in, it isn’t panic stations,” the coach said.

“You can manage things a bit better if you’ve got some points to play with.”

It isn’t as though the Tigers haven’t been tested yet either.

So far Rowlandson rates Bathurst Panthers, who went down by two against the Tigers, as the toughest opponent he’s seen given that they pushed them for 80 minutes without Jeremy and Claude Gordon.

But as they have done each week, his team did what was required and secured the result.

It is something he attributes not to any particular star power, but to the attitude of his entire squad.

“It is difficult to explain how and why we’ve been winning, it is no single factor,” he said.

“If I’m praising the local boys it probably doesn’t do the likes of Matt, Trent and George Rose justice, and if I praise those three it probably seems like I’m ignoring how well the Oberon boys have played.

“Matt has made a huge difference for sure, his control and structure at half-back is a big influence. But he and his brothers have come into a squad that was ready to go, that was fit and committed.

“We haven’t had anyone playing bad football, no-one isn’t playing to, or above their potential and that’s making all the difference.”

George Rose will return to action this weekend, while Blake Miller and Jason Ferris will remain on the sidelines with injury, but they are expected back in the next few weeks.

Kick-off is at 2pm in Oberon.

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