ORANGE Emus earned a bonus point three minutes into the second half of their Blowes Clothing Cup win over Dubbo Rhinos on Saturday.
Winger Isaac White scored the Orange side's fourth try early in the second half to earn the bonus point and Emus went on to win the game 44-8.
It was the strong start in both halves from Emus which set up the commanding win at Endeavour Oval.
Emus player-coach Paul Ringland said he was happy to have his team get on the scoreboard early.
"We started well which is something we've been working hard on because it was one of our weaknesses," Ringland explained.
"Then 15 minutes in we went quiet. After half-time we worked hard and we ran away with it."
Emus were up 12-0 after seven minutes early in the game before Rhinos came back to 12-8 thanks to a try to Ricky Whetherill and penalty goal by Palei Tonga.
The visitors had most of the possession and field position for the remainder of the opening half but it was Emus who were able to add to their tally when Tony Elliott scored for the home side to lead 17-8 at the break.
The second half was all Emus as they ran in five unanswered tries.
White, Graydon Staniforth, Jack Hart, Toby Wright and Tom Raines all put on five-pointers for Emus, however there were only two conversions kicked all game.
Rhinos captain Mark Amey conceded Emus had the better start and went on with it.
"We can't expect to win these tight fixtures when we give away 12 points in the first seven minutes," Amey said.
"We play brilliant rugby in patches but not for the full 80 minutes. It's been the story of our season."
Despite the loss, Amey praised his team's commitment.
"The boys never gave up for the full 80 minutes," he said.
"The last five minutes we proved when we did play well we could match it with them.
"It was a good all-round effort to keep the heart."
The win keeps Orange Emus in the top five and on track for a semi-final berth.
Ringland said his side needed to work on its tackling as this let them down during their win over Rhinos.
The player-coach said fullback Graydon Staniforth was strong for Emus as were forwards James Isles and Jimmy Roberts.
Tom Goolagong and Jack Hart also had an impact when they came off the bench.
n ORANGE EMUS 44 (Jimmy Robert, Ben Parkes, Tony Elliott, Isaac White, Graydon Staniforth, Jack Hart, Toby Wright, Tom Raines tries; Graydon Staniforth, Toby Wright conv) def DUBBO RHINOS 8 (Ricky Whetherill try; Palei Tonga pen goal).