08/9/2014 - Orange City Lions third grade side into decider after downing Emus

LIONS ROAR LOUDEST: Orange City Lions' Matt Dillon is tackled by Orange Emus' Mark Kingham. Photo: STEVE GOSCH

Third grade: Orange City Lions v Orange EmusAll the action from Saturday’s Blowes Clothing Cup third grade semi-final at Pride Park

ORANGE City capitalised on some Orange Emus injuries to score a solid 36-3 win in Saturday’s Blowes Clothing Cup third grade preliminary final.

Emus may have scored the first points thanks to a Graydon Staniforth penalty goal one minute into the match at Pride Park, but injuries forced players to reshuffle and the Lions pounced.

Four minutes into the match Emus lost fly-half Jaime Kelso with a broken leg which he suffered in a tackle.

The Lions, who recorded their first loss of the season in the previous week’s major semi-final, put on 22 points in the opening half against Emus and a further 14 in the second period for the win.

Orange City coach Ian “Froggy” Barrett said he saw a vast improvement in his side from the previous week’s 20-7 loss to Dubbo Kangaroos.

“They were a lot more structured and committed to each other,” Barrett said.

“They just played for each other today.”

Emus coach Barry Ruddy said injuries made things difficult for his team.

“Late-season injuries don’t help and then injuries in the game don’t help,” Ruddy said.

“You could see that fragmented our position in defence. They’re (Orange City) very well-drilled. When they saw we had those problems, those weaknesses, they just exploited them.”

Staniforth’s penalty goal was quickly nullified when winger James Alexander sprinted down the left line to score six minutes later.

Further tries to flanker Niko Foliaki, outside centre Ben Mills, fullback Joe Alexander and fly-half Baden Curran, and a Joe Alexander conversion, had Orange City up 22-3 at the break.

It took the Lions 39 seconds to add to their tally in the second half when, off the back of a quick line-out, some good support play allowed flanker Matt Dillon to score in the left corner.

Joe Alexander’s conversion pushed the score out to 29-3.

To Emus’ credit, they upped the ante and applied plenty of pressure and held Orange City out until the final two minutes of the game.

That was when Mills was able to score his second of the day, which was converted by Baden Curran.

“I was just thinking that was a good game of footy for third grade,” Barrett said.

The coach said Curran and Nick Blunt were strong for the Lions, as was Joe Alexander in his first game at fullback.

For Emus, Ruddy was impressed with flanker Sam Chamberlain, who tested the City defence every time he had the ball, and was constantly at the breakdowns.

Orange City will get another crack at Dubbo Kangaroos this Saturday in the second grade grand final and Barrett said he’ll be asking Lions first grade coaches Steve Hamson and Mick Gray to help his side prepare.

ORANGE CITY LIONS 36 (Ben Mills 2, James Alexander, Niko Foliaki, Baden Curran, Matt Dillon tries; Joe Alexander 2 conv, Baden Curran conv) def ORANGE EMUS 3 (Graydon Staniforth pen goal).

taken from http://www.centralwesterndaily.com.au/story/2541678/injuries-hurt-orange-emus-as-the-lions-pounce-in-third-grade-semi-final-gallery/?cs=104

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