19/6/2015 - Wet another leveller as Orange City and Orange Emus prepare for derby showdown

READY TO RUMBLE: Orange City duo Jake Davis and Mitch Pearce and Orange Emus centre Simon Badgery. Photo: MATT FINDLAY 

RUGBY UNION

IT’S rained all week, Pride Park is set to be a mud heap and it’s forecast to not get above 10 degrees tomorrow – but Orange City and Orange Emus wouldn’t have it any other way.

After all, it’s not a Blowes Clothing Cup Orange derby unless it’s played in conditions best suited to pigs, is it?

Tomorrow’s mouth-watering clash has been one of the most highly anticipated local derbies in recent memory.

Considering it’s a top-of-the-table clash and the last time the two teams met in the 2014 preliminary final a Nigel Staniforth penalty goal after full-time was all that separated them, it’s not difficult to see why.

Both teams are missing key players as well, adding more unpredictability to the clash.

In fact, even betting men would find this game harder to pick than a broken nose.

 “For us it’s no different to any other game, every game is a big one in this competition now.”

“We’ve had some pretty good games with Emus over the last couple of years,” Orange City co-coach Mick Gray said.

“It’s a pity about the weather, it ruins the spectacle a bit, but we’re expecting another tight one.”

Sitting on top of the table, the Lions have momentum after thumping Bathurst Bulldogs 33-15 last start, but will be without NSW Country Colts prop Logan Brockmann – who reportedly monstered former Cockatoos bookend Chris Plunkett in last weekend’s win.

“Lawso [Keith Lawson] will play tight, and he did pretty well against Plunkett when he went on last weekend,” Gray said.

“Josh Maley also has a bit of a hamstring strain, but in saying that Emus have a few walking wounded, and (Adam) Perri will be away with Logan, so both sides can only play who is on the paddock.

“We’re not expecting Emus to change much, they have good backs and solid forwards, but our win over Bulldogs does give us confidence.

“We had a bit of an honesty session after our loss to Cowra about what we hadn’t been doing well, and it looks like we’ve turned a corner since then.”

Emus’ casualty ward is much fuller than Orange City’s, with skipper Nigel Staniforth virtually no chance of playing thanks to a hamstring complaint, while gun hooker Tom Goolagong and speedster Carter Hirini are set to remain sidelined with shoulder and hamstring injuries respectively.

“It’s not just this week, we’ve been having to make four and five changes every week,” Staniforth said.

“It’s made it difficult, but we’ve managed to stay up around the top [of the ladder] without really playing well.

“We do need to find some consistency, and hit some form, and try and set up the back half of our season.

“We know Orange City will be good defensively, and we hear they have a slick back line, so we need to try and shut them down.”

Orange City and Orange Emus lock horns from 3.15pm.

taken from http://www.centralwesterndaily.com.au/story/3156355/video-wet-another-leveller-as-orange-city-and-orange-emus-prepare-for-derby-showdown/?cs=104

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