ORANGE Emus will continue their run of tough games as they take on Charles Sturt University in Bathurst tomorrow.
Emus have played last year’s grand finalists Narromine, the undefeated Orange City and perennial heavyweights Bathurst Bulldogs in their last three games.
The Orange side celebrated a 15-point win over Narromine, a 3-all draw with the Lions but went down by 10 points to the Bulldogs last Saturday.
Emus coach Paul Ringland said it doesn’t get any easier coming up against CSU Bathurst who are second on the competition ladder.
“It will be a tough one. They (CSU) had a bit of a slump with two losses but now they’re back on track,” Ringland said.
The two sides last met in round two in April where CSU delivered a dominant 44-25 result in Orange.
Fullback Jack Garrad and No.8 Hugh Medway led the students’ charge in the 19-point win.
Ringland said Emus have learnt from the loss.
“Job No.1 is to shut down Jack Garrad,” the coach said.
“He’s tearing it up and he really did a number on us last time.”
The coach said CSU were known for their speedy backs but he added the forwards also need to step up against an enthusiastic CSU pack.
There are at least three motivating factors in tomorrow’s game for Emus.
First, they want to atone for their loss to CSU in the first half of the season.
Second, they want to bounce back from their loss to the Bulldogs last week.
Third, and possibly most importantly, the Orange side needs the win.
Emus are third on the competition ladder on 27 points.
They are followed closely by Dubbo Kangaroos (26 points), Narromine (26), Bathurst (23) and Forbes (23) as the fight for semi-final spots heats up.
“We only have to have one slip-up and we slide right down the ladder. We can’t afford to lose,” Ringland said.
There are a few changes to the Emus’ line-up for tomorrow due to injury.
Andrew Grivas is out with injury so Sam McLean moves into the second row with Keith Howarth, and James Isles, Dan Brown and Ben Parkes make up the back row.
Fullback Graydon Staniforth and winger Tony Wright missed last week’s game due to injury but are back this week.
“Tuesday’s training had a really good feel. We’re hoping all the injuries are over and we’ve got the best team on the paddock,” Ringland said.
“I think we can get a win.”
Tomorrow’s game will be played in Bathurst.
ORANGE EMUS: 1 Paul Ringland, 2 Mark Grivas, 3 Jim Roberts, 4 Sam McLean, 5 Keith Howarth, 6 James Isles, 7 Dan Brown, 8 Ben Parkes, 9 TJ Cunynghame, 10 Nigel Staniforth, 11 Toby Wright, 12 Andrew Swain, 13 Tim Alison, 14 Isaac White, 15 Graydon Staniforth.