How do you keep a team winning who have been the best at doing that for the past five years?
North Tamworth captain-coach Scott Blanch has endeavoured to do that by responding to the reigning five-time premiers' 54-22 round-one defeat of Werris Creek by "flogging" them at training, according to Bears prop James Cooper.
Cooper revealed that salient titbit while speaking during the Leader's debut episode of the LeagueLand podcast (LeagueLand with Mark Bode).
He said the lopsided scoreline was not a true reflection of the contest, with Blanch especially displeased about the side's defence.
Ahead of the Bears' encounter against the Cowboys in Dungowan on Saturday, Cooper said: "We got absolutely flogged at training on Tuesday night on the back of that [performance]. We didn't touch the footy at all: we just ran."
The Roosters edged Dungowan 28-26 in round one. "We're expecting a tough one," Cooper said. "We know Dungowan will take us on in the middle of the park."
The return to Norths, after a 10-year absence, of former NSW Country player Josh Schmiedel looks to have provided Norths with the right-edge impact they desired, to go with their potent Blanch-inspired left flank.
Schmiedel crossed three times against the Magpies, but Cooper said it was on the right edge that the Bears "leaked" the most points.
"He's really gonna bring a new dimension to our side in attack," Cooper said. "And then once they [the right edge] gel down there defensively ... we're hopeful that the right side can really be a bit of a feature of our side."
Cooper also touched on the return to Norths of influential rake Brock Wadwell, who was absent last season after leaving the area for work. Wadwell impressed off the bench against Werris Creek, and Cooper said he "adds a bit of attacking flair" to the side.
"Brock, he's a bit of an aggressive type in many ways, but it's good to have that dynamic around the side as well," Cooper said, adding the Wadwell was "really dynamic" attacking the tryline.
Meanwhile, Narrabri will look to remain undefeated when they play the Magpies at Werris Creek on Saturday.
DUNGOWAN: 1 Ethan Collins, 2 Dale Woods, 3 Bradley Brooks, 4 Mitch Brown, 5 Brock Morgan, 6 Ethan Sherlock, 7 Matt Wilson (c/c), 8 Brendon Steel, 9 Nathan Maguire, 10 Shaun Ferguson, 11 Lochie Collins, 12 Brett Jarrett, 13 Matt Jenner, 14 Justin Bradbury, 15 Luke Austin, 16 Dwayne Nash, 17 Dom Horne.
NORTH TAMWORTH: 1 Chris Hunt, 2 Zac Nigro, 3 Richard Clegg, 4 Andrew Moodie, 5 Jeremy York, 6 Scott Blanch (c/c), 7 Kieran Fisher, 8 James Cooper, 9 Ryan Ingram, 10 Shane-Lee Wadwell, 11 Josh Schmiedel, 12 Jake McManus, 13 Alec Cocking, 14 Cody Byrne, 15 Brock Wadwell, 16 Jack Patterson, 17 Ben Jarvis, 18 Nic Dobson.
WERRIS CREEK: 1 Marty Shaw, 2 Zac Leonard, 3 Isaah Millgate, 4 Kieran Williams, 5 Miles Kearney, 6 Harlee Millgate, 7 Scott Berry, 8 Thomas Browne (co-capt), 9 Callum Hayne, 10 Dwight Millgate, 11 Sam Lumby, 12 Cody Tickle (co-capt), 13 Jamie Bailey, 14 Bryce Daniels, 15 Scott Hogg, 16 Beau Parry, 17 Marcus Dolan.
NARRABRI: 1 Damon Gleeson, 2 Adam Suckling, 3 Grant Green, 4 Holt Cubis, 5 Brady Jenkins, 6 Lachlan Cameron, 7 Brenton Cochrane (c/c), 8 Phil Vincent, 9 Josh Trindall, 10 Daniel Jobson, 11 Jessie O'Neil, 12 Jock Small, 13 Raymond Goodwin, 14 Blake Hilderson, 15 Tristan Lamb, 16 Caleb Binge, 17 Chris Binge.