29/7/2016 - Emus look to defy Mitchell Men on uni Old Boys’ Day

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ORANGE Emus broke their long-standing University Oval hoodoo in 2014, but head coach Paul Ringland said the memory of the greens’ five-year horror run at the Bathurst ground is more than enough to have him wary of CSU Bathurst.

Emus have won their last four home and away Blowes Clothing Cup match-ups with CSU but prior to that – from 2009 through to 2013 – the students claimed eight of the 10 games the two clubs played, including all five games at the ground they affectionately label The Zoo.

“We actually spoke about it a little bit this week, we’ve had some bad results down there in the past. There were several times they ambushed us a bit and we just couldn’t match their enthusiasm,” Ringland said.

“We’ve bucked that trend recently but we don’t want to fall back into those old habits, CSU are certainly still a danger.”

The Mitchell Men become even more dangerous, Ringland said, considering they’ll be hosting their annual Old Boys’ Day on Saturday.

“CSU will feed off that enthusiasm the crowd brings,” Ringland said.

“They’ll lift a gear no doubt.”

Despite the fact CSU are in eighth with just three wins to their name and are virtually ruled out of the post-season calculations, Ringland said his side won’t treat them as cellar-dwellers.

UNIVERSITY ALUMNI: Steve Fergus returns to his former stomping ground this weekend. Photo: PHIL BLATCH 0521pbemu60

UNIVERSITY ALUMNI: Steve Fergus returns to his former stomping ground this weekend. Photo: PHIL BLATCH 0521pbemu60

“I actually think they’re a more complete team than the last couple of years, their results probably aren’t really reflective of their ability,” Ringland said, giving the students a wrap.

“At the start of the year they came out playing an attacking brand of rugby and really looked like they could be a force, but fell off a bit. I’m not sure if that was a lack of execution or something else, but if the passes stick they could beat anyone.

“On top of that, their scrum is much better than in the past. It used to be an avenue to attack them but they’re holding their own.

“Because of that I think Saturday’s game will actually be a more conventional battle than we’re used to against CSU.”

With that in mind, Ringland just wants his side to keep doing what it has been recently.

Emus boast a number for former Mitchell Men in their ranks and Ringland highlighted two in particular he expects to shine in Saturday’s round 16 fixture – prop Steve Fergus and second-rower Nick Hughes-Clapp.

“They’ll feed off that enthusiasm from the CSU crowd the same way the students will I think,” Ringland said.

“We expect strong games from those two every week.”

Kick off at University Oval is at 3.15pm.

ORANGE EMUS: 1 Steve Fergus, 2 Tom Goolagong, 3 Nas Havealeta, 4 Nick Hughes-Clapp, 5 Sam McLean, 6 Andrew Cosgrove, 7 Andrew Selwood, 8 Scott McLean, 9 Sam Green, 10 Todd Freedman, 11 Tom Green, 12 Lachie Harris, 13 Nigel Staniforth, 14 Carter Hirini, 15 Marty Bryan

 

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