02/8/2015 - Eagles rocked: Emus stun Cowra to spoil 50th anniversary celebrations

EAGLES ROCKED: Orange Emus hitman Nick Hughes-Clapp (headgear) and Sam McLean try and pull down a Cowra maul on Saturday. Photo: PETE GUTHRIEEAGLES ROCKED: Orange Emus hitman Nick Hughes-Clapp (headgear) and Sam McLean try and pull down a Cowra maul on Saturday. Photo: PETE GUTHRIE

RUGBY UNION

DESPITE the occasion well and truly putting the odds in Cowra’s favour at Cowra Rugby Club on Saturday, an in form Orange Emus side produced a rousing performance to hammer the hosts and spoil their 50th anniversary old boys’ day on Saturday.

The Eagles donned commemorative, long sleeve, cotton jerseys in a throwback to a bygone era, and were primed for a huge 80 minute effort but a lacklustre performance allowed Emus to pile on 52 points while Cowra limped to a lowly 13.

Emus opened their account in the first exchanges of Saturday’s clash when Simon Badgery crossed, with the game being played at a frantic pace.

Skipper Nigel Staniforth, who kicked at 100 percent for the day, duly added the extras to give his side a 7-nil lead.

Cowra winger Mitchell Budge hit back for his side, crossing after causing havoc for Emus’ defensive line but in a crucial moment of the game, he hurt himself in scoring the try and was forced from the field.

Fullback Aaron Denzel added the extras, levelling the scores.

Denzel found the mark with a penalty to give his side the lead but Emus winger Carter Hirini strolled over immediately to put the greens back in front, before putting flanker Scott McLean in for the first of his two tries.

Staniforth added the extras, before a second Denzel penalty reduced the deficit to eight at the half-time break.

But, it didn’t count for much, with Emus piling on 31 unanswered points in the second period to silence the parochial home crowd, including a stunning try to glittering prop Steve Fergus, which sealed the win.

In the dying stages of the game, with Cowra still an outside chance of mounting a comeback, Fergus busted through one would-be defender after latching onto a pass from Graydon Staniforth, breezing past another on his way to his first five pointer of the year.

“[Cowra] are a big forward pack and we held our own, although we did a lot of tackling we held the line well,” Emus player-coach Graydon Staniforth said.

“Since the start of the second round we’ve really picked it up. I don’t know what happened in our first round but we’ve worked on our continuity and … ball work and it’s paying dividends.

“We have a big one against Mudgee (next weekend), they beat us over there, we’ll have to do Cowra a favour.”

In contrast, Cowra coach Dave Oliver thought his players relied on the occasion too much.

“Emus knew they had to grow a leg to play us on our 50th anniversary day and they did,” Oliver lamented.

“We thought it was going to happen for us but we didn’t make it happen. Blatantly, it just came down to attitude today, we thought the occasion would get us over the line.”

ORANGE EMUS 52 (Carter Hirini 2, Scott McLean 2, Simon Badgery, Steve Fergus, Tom Green tries; Nigel Staniforth 7 conv, pen goal) def COWRA EAGLES 13 (Mitchell Budge try; Aaron Denzel conv, 2 pen goals)

taken from http://www.centralwesterndaily.com.au/story/3251316/eagles-rocked-emus-stun-cowra-to-spoil-50th-anniversary-celebrations/?cs=104

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