"This week, it's going to be a different story." Those are the words of first-year Emus prop Mark Jackson who said the club was confident they could avenge their round five derby defeat to Orange City. On that occasion, the Lions got up 19-17 which in turn, snapped an eight-year drought against their cross-town rivals. "I think City really turned up for it and I don't think we did," Jackson said of the loss. When the tradie moved to Orange at the beginning of 2023, he wasn't even sure he'd be lacing up the boots. Having played in the Shute Shield set-up during his younger days, Jackson took the past two seasons off to focus on his family and business. "It was nice because I wasn't waking up sore every Sunday, but you miss being around the boys and having a beer in the changeroom after the game," he said. Some arm-twisting from Nick Hughes-Clapp and Tim Davidson did the trick to get him back in the game. "I had both of them in my ear for a little while," Jackson added. He suddenly found himself rocking up to a pre-season training run for the first time in quite a while, which was a struggle at first. "My wife had to pretty much push me out of bed most mornings after a training session," Jackson said. "After a few weeks you start to get the reps in and the body gets used to it again." He began the season in second grade but quickly impressed and has been part of the first XV set-up for the majority of the year now. Although Emus currently sit second on the ladder, it's been a difficult season for the perennial title-contenders. With five wins and four losses to their name, another defeat to Orange City on June 24 at Endeavour Oval could see them slip down as far as fourth. Jackson is confident that won't happen. "I don't think we have a doubt that we won't come away from this weekend without a victory," he said. "We owe it to ourselves and to the club as well." Although he has only been in Orange for a few short months, Jackson already knows just how much a derby win would mean. "It would be unreal," he said. "Being in a small town, you see a lot of the City boys around during the week, so it's good to throw a bit of banter around." The first grade match kicks off at 2.45pm. Fresh off a loss to Cowra last weekend, the Dubbo Roos will return home on Saturday in what is shaping up to be an important fixture on and off the field. The Roos will celebrate their Cultural Round on Saturday at No.1 Oval, a time to reflect on the different journeys each player and/or their families has been on. Speaking to Cluch TV after their loss to Cowra, Roos captain Tom Koerstz couldn't wait to get back in front of his home fans. "It's going to be a really good day, hopefully we can get a really good turnout at home," he said. "I'm really looking forward to seeing Cowra at home in a few weeks." Without all four of their Central West players last weekend, the Roos could welcome back Calub Cook and Will Michell but are unlikely to have Tim Beach or Jake Styles who are both injured. Bathurst Bulldogs v Cowra Eagles A Bathurst Bulldogs men's side have lost a game in 2023. Yes, it took until mid-June for a Bulldogs side to taste defeat in a Central West Rugby competition. Orange City's third grade outfit got a 26-14 victory at Ashwood Park last Saturday to end the Bulldogs' win streak. However, the Bulldogs' first and second grade teams welcome the Cowra Eagles to Bathurst with nine straight each to their names. The prospect of an unbeaten first-second grade double is beginning to feel more and more realistic for the club with each week that goes by, but there's still a long way to go. Reading this on mobile web? Download our news app. It's faster, easier to read and we'll send you alerts for breaking news as it happens. Download in the Apple Store or Google Play.