08/9/2014 - Orange Emus second grade side defeats Dubbo Kangaroos in tight preliminary final

GREAT TO BE GREEN: Orange Emus' Matt Findlay. Photo: STEVE GOSCH

Second grade: Orange Emus v Dubbo KangaroosAll the action from Saturday’s Blowes Clothing Cup second grade semi-final at Pride Park

THERE was a key moment in Saturday’s second grade Blowes Clothing Cup preliminary final between Orange Emus and Dubbo Kangaroos.

Emus had been leading 20-10 at the break but eight minutes into the second half the Kangaroos had drawn level at 20-all.

Emus coach Mitch Dansey said his team’s reaction to that moment proved crucial.

“In the second half, we were back to a draw and credit to the guys because it could have gone one of two ways – they could have dropped their heads and gone, ‘We’re in for a long day’, or kept their heads up, which they did,” Dansey smiled.

The Orange side put on another 18 unanswered points, including two tries, in the final 23 minutes to win 38-20 and book a place in the grand final.

“To finish the game out, especially the preliminary final 38-20 was good,” Dansey said.

Emus drew first blood at Pride Park when captain David Faul kicked a penalty goal seven minutes into the game.

However, Kangaroos moved into the lead six minutes later when fullback Bryce Williams scored in the corner.

The Orange side then put on the pressure with Elliot Brice, Scott Udy and Ben Parkes all scoring tries, to give Emus a 20-5 lead.

The ‘Roos were able to close the gap to 20-10 right on half-time when prop Peter Graham burrowed his way over to score.

The first eight minutes of second half was all ‘Roos as replacement James Gilmour stepped the defence and ran in a try, which was converted by Jason Coyle, who also kicked a penalty to make it 20-all.

Emus reacted immediately.

They earned a penalty shortly after the restart and Sam Ryan nailed the conversion.

Ryan missed his next attempt but Faul slotted the following one cleanly to edge Emus ahead to 26-20.

Brice scored his second try with 11 minutes left on the clock, with a great show of speed and a solid step, and Faul’s conversion made it 33-20.

Then, with three minutes to go, Emus left no doubt about their victory when they went to the blindside from the scrum and winger James Simmons blitzed the field to score the game’s final points.

It was a disappointing loss for the Kangaroos and coach Vincent Gordon.

“We fought hard. We had a good season,” Gordon said.

“Our mistakes kept us out of the game and they (Emus) made the most of our mistakes.”

Gordon was impressed with his No.7 Reuben Williams, captain and No.8 DJ O’Shea and halfback Aaron Payne.

Emus fly-half Elliot Brice earned praise from his coach, as did halfback Chris Bailey and the “evergreen” second rower Thomas Fenualelei.

Emus set up an all-Orange derby for the second grade grand final as they take on Orange City this Saturday.

“It’s unchartered waters for a lot of these guys,” Dansey said of his men.

“It’s going to take a complete performance, which were very close to putting on the paddock. As I said, I think we’ve still got room for improvement.

“City are pretty seasoned campaigners in second grade when it comes to grand finals, they certainly know how to play and what to do on grand final day. There’ll be certainly no fear. They’ll throw everything they can into it and we’ll see how we go.”

ORANGE EMUS 38 (Elliot Brice 2, Scott Udy, Ben Parkes, James Simmons tries; David Faul 2 conv, 2 pen goals, Sam Ryan pen goal) def DUBBO KANGAROOS 20(Bryce Williams, Peter Graham, James Gilmour tries; Jason Coyle conv, pen goal)

taken from http://www.centralwesterndaily.com.au/story/2541674/orange-emus-respond-at-key-moments-to-book-second-grade-decider-berth-photos/?cs=104

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