21/6/2015 - Lions v Emus

Orange Emus' Simon Badgery takes on the City defence. Photo: JUDE KEOGH


THE Blowes Clothing Cup derby between Orange Emus and Orange City lived up to its top-of-the-table billing on Saturday.

For the first 60 minutes the two sides played out an arm wrestle at Pride Park before the Lions’ backs put on a show in the final quarter, running in four tries for the 33-10 victory.

The win keeps Orange City at the top of the first grade ladder at the season’s half-way point with eight wins from nine games.

Lions co-coach Steve Hamson was pleased with the team’s progression through the season.

“We’ve worked pretty hard on the patterns of play that we’re trying to get them to roll out each week, and that has really started to click last week against (Bathurst) ‘Dogs and rolled on this week,” Hamson said.

“I think (Emus’) fitness probably fell away a bit at the end so we were finding a few holes in them. I think it’s a testament to our guys’ resilience that they stuck at what we’re trying to do.”

Emus took early points when prop Matt Findlay kicked a penalty goal four minutes in but from there it was a tough slog for both sides as their defence was tested.

City finally broke through in the 32nd minute when fullback Joe Lasagavibau ran the ball, put a kick on and then won the footrace to dive on the ball and score.

Mesui Lemoto’s conversion gave City a 7-3 lead which they took into half-time.

Emus scored first points after the break when prop Nas Havealeta burrowed his way over and Andrew Selwood’s conversion gave the greens a 10-7 lead.

The score remained unchanged until things took a turn for the worse for Emus.

Fullback Isaac White was given a yellow card for not rolling away after he brought down City winger Sione “Mo” Amone, who looked certain to score in the left corner.

The Lions spread the ball right and Lasagavibau dived over in the corner for his second, and Lemoto added the extras.

Three minutes later the Lions were in again when Cameron Cole made a good run, caught the Emus defence out and sent the ball right for centre Jake Davis to score.

Just another four minutes later City winger Sam Coote made a break down the right line, fooled the defence with a dummy and then put Alifeleti Wolfgramm in to score.

Five minutes later No.8 Tatafu Na’aniumotu finished the scoring with a try. Lemoto’s fourth conversion for the day capped off the bonus-point win for the Lions.

Emus co-coach Graydon Staniforth conceded his side’s fitness let them down.

“Up to half-time, really good effort. They did everything we asked them to do and couldn’t have been happier at half-time,” Staniforth said.

“Then they just got away, then the yellow card and they were coming home. It is a reflection of fitness levels.”

While disappointed to lose, Staniforth could see positives.

“It’s probably not a bad loss for us because now we know what we’ve got to chase,” he said.

Hamson said his team followed the game plan right to the final whistle.

“(At half-time) We just spoke about making sure we were there at one and two, getting the line going forward and make smart decisions at the breakdown, and stick at what we’re doing,” he explained.

“It was big for us to keep moving the ball and that’s what we’ll continue to do and try to pull the teams apart and make them defend on their own.”

ORANGE CITY 33 (Joe Lasagavibau 2, Jake Davis, Alifeleti Wolfgramm, Tatafu Na’aniumotu tries; Mesui Lemoto 4 conv) def ORANGE EMUS 10 (Nas Havealeta try; Andrew Selwood conv, Matt Findlay pen goal).

taken from http://www.centralwesterndaily.com.au/story/3159894/gallery-video-lions-finish-with-a-flourish-to-topple-emus-in-derby/?cs=104

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