05/8/2016 - Emus won’t underestimate cellar-dwelling Rhinos: Staniforth

Flying high atop the table, Emus are 58 competition points in front of Rhinos and considering the greens are hosting the lowly Dubbo side all signs point to a blow-out.

Not if you ask Emus skipper Nigel Staniforth though.

“Rhinos have competed in a lot of games they’ve played in so far this year, and they’ve only been blown out a couple of times,” Staniforth said.

“When we played them in Dubbo we had to work really hard to get the win, we had to dig deep and play some good rugby.

“I guess the biggest factor is that this one is in Orange. We’re not sure how they travel as a side and to be fair, we don’t know all that much about them in general.

“In that respect, we can’t afford to be thinking about winning big. We just need to keep doing what we have been doing and let the result take care of itself.”

Performance wise, Emus have been solid in recent weeks. Intensity wise, not so much.

After a handful of games where the greens’ intensity drooped dangerously Staniforth said his side returned to the mark in last weekend’s 60-5 win over CSU Bathurst.

“We did, that’s one thing we need to maintain this weekend,” he said.

“We really want to keep building on that performance.

“There is a few guys I think who can see the end of the season coming, it’s right around the corner really so we need to stay focused in these last couple of games and build into the semi-finals.”

Emus are virtually one bonus point win away from sealing the 2016 minor premiership – barring a disaster in the final two rounds – however Staniforth said that won’t be a thought he entertains until it’s definite.

He said the side isn’t thinking about next week’s top-of-the-table clash against Forbes either.

“We spoke about it, but only to make sure everyone wasn’t looking that far ahead,” Staniforth said.

“We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. We want to stay focused on the job we have to do and this weekend, that’s against Rhinos.”

Saturday’s clash kicks off at 3.15pm at Endeavour Oval.

ORANGE EMUS: 1 Nas Havealeta, 2 Tom Goolagong, 3 Steve Fergus, 4 Nick Hughes-Clapp, 5 Sam McLean, 6 Alo Finau, 7 Mitch Lockley, 8 Scott McLean, 9 Sam Green, 10 AJ Sykes, 11 Tom Green, 12 Lachie Harris, 13 Nigel Staniforth, 14 Carter Hirini, 15 Todd Freedman; Interchange: 16 Simon Badgery

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