31/3/2016 - Emus to out maul the bulldogs

MOVING IN: Emus gun Carter Hirini has moved a little close to the action head of the first round of the 2016 season, shifting from the wing to halfback. Photo: STEVE GOSCH  
MOVING IN: Emus gun Carter Hirini has moved a little close to the action head of the first round of the 2016 season, shifting from the wing to halfback. Photo: STEVE GOSCH

That’s the key for Orange Emus in their Blowes Clothing Cup season opener against the Bulldogs in Bathurst, a side renowned for its physicality and an outfit, this year, determined to make waves among  the Central West Rugby Union’s biggest hitters.

And, fortunate enough to name 12 of last year’s premiership winning starting 15 for Saturday’s round one clash at Ashwood Park, Emus coach Paul Ringland believes his side is capable of doing just that.

“Ideally we’d have liked to ease into the season, but Dogs at Dogs’, it usually brings out the best in us,” Ringland said.

“They’re big and physical and tough through the middle, and we tend to like to meet them there. It’s a good challenge for us.”

This week, especially, Emus forwards are key.

Ringland and his coaching team of Andrew Logan and Jeremy Wallace have named an un-tried halves pairing, with flier Carter Hirini moving to halfback and Welsh hockey international Todd Freedman hoping codes to fill the void left by Adam Perri in the Emus No.10 jersey.

Giving them a solid platform to work from will be essential as the greens look to blood the new-look pairing.

Ringland was quick to play down the expectation on the duo, though, with Hirini’s move to half-back as much about giving one of the competition’s fastest players more ball as it was replacing TJ Cunynghame.

While Freedman has impressed with his rugby union nous throughout the club’s pre-season.

“They don’t have to do too much,” Ringland said.

“Everyone has a role to play and if Todd can do that well enough then we’ll be fine. His communication has been great.

“We’ve had a good influx of new players at the club this season. Picking firsts and seconds this week was really tough … we’ve left out some really good players.

“We’re all pretty excited for the first game and to see what the rest of the competition has as well.”

Lachie Harris makes his return for Emus at inside centre, while AJ Sykes will debut on the wing.

Emus tackle Bulldogs from 3.15pm in Bathurst.

n ORANGE EMUS: 1 Nas Havealeta, 2 Tom Goolagong, 3 Steve Fergus, 4 Sam McLean, 5 Nick Hughes-Clapp, 6 Andrew Cosgrove, 7 Josh Ellis-Flint, 8 Scott McLean, 9 Carter Hirini, 10 Todd Freedman, 11 AJ Sykes, 12 Lachie Harris, 13 Nigel Staniforth, 14 Tom Green, 15 Isaac White.

taken from

http://www.centralwesterndaily.com.au/story/3823604/emus-to-out-maul-the-bulldogs/?cs=104

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