IN a brutally honest assessment of the Blowes Clothing Cup outfit he coached throughout the 2013 season, Andrew Logan believes Orange Emus are deserved recipients of this year’s wooden spoon.
The greens finished ninth following a final round 32-18 loss to Orange City at Endeavour Oval last weekend.
It was a game Emus threatened in.
A resurgence of sorts got the greens back within striking distance at 19-13 mid-way through the second half, but Orange City found another gear to run in two quick tries and secure another unbeaten minor premiership, the club’s second in as many winters.
In many ways, the derby mirrored the 2013 campaign of Logan’s men.
Lingering just outside the top five for the majority of the season, Emus couldn’t perform with both the consistency and intensity of the Central West Rugby Union benchmark sides, Orange City, Parkes and Cowra.
They just couldn’t crack it.
In 2013 Emus competed in seven games decided by a converted try or less.
Tellingly, they won just two of them.
And in a competition where the fifth-placed Bathurst Bulldogs earned 34 points and Emus accrued 26, those close losses - four of them at Endeavour Oval - hurt Logan (pictured) and his coaching team of Graydon Staniforth and Mal Nutt most.
Win two of those games and Emus are this weekend playing finals rugby.
They win three and they could well be hosting a semi.
“Frustrated” by the results on the board, Logan spoke with the Central Western Daily following last Saturday’s loss against the Lions.
Both forthright and obviously disappointed, the first-year Emus mentor was extremely confident the club can build on this year and “fly under the radar” in 2014.
And given how close Emus came in 2013, Logan was putting his hand up to again be part of it.
The foundation for success is there.
At the start of the season, Logan and co. set their senior squad three goals.
The first was to beat Orange City in the opening derby of 2013 up at Pride Park.
Considering no side beat the Lions this year, Emus’ 35-22 defeat in round one need not be deemed a total failure.
The second was to be in the top four defensive sides in the premiership.
Logan can certainly tick this one off.
Emus’ defence was the equal fourth stingiest in 2013, conceding 23 points per game while the best defence in the competition conceded 12 points per match.
That figure belongs to Orange City.
And the third and final goal was a top-four berth.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, if Emus reverse the 25-20 result against Cowra in round two, or make the most of the ball in the 25-22 loss to Forbes or the 23-19 defeat to Parkes, they tick off that goal too.
The signs are positive.
They may have collected the first grade wooden spoon, but Emus weren’t that far off this season.