AFTER a Blowes Clothing Cup wooden spoon in 2013, Orange Emus are keeping a lid on any real confidence despite a strong showing against Randwick colts on Saturday.
Emus’ first and second graders took on the ’Wicks, made up primarily of first and second colts XV players, at Endeavour Oval.
Despite “not being too fussed” about the final scoreline, Emus coach Andrew Logan had reason to smile come full-time after his troops produced a performance contradictory to that of a team playing together for the first time.
Despite the game being riddled with handling errors from both sides, Emus and Randwick traded tries throughout the first three quarters, entering the final break at an unknown, though assumed close scoreline.
As fatigue set in during the final 10 minutes Emus produced a stunning burst of attacking fluency leading to back-to-back maximums, including one sequence of play that highlighted the greens’ obvious attacking potential in 2014.
Built on a huge scrum, and several phases of forward work, Emus centre Rob Thorburn found space up the middle before a series of pop balls saw the pill pass through six separate sets of hands before boom recruit Sam Ryan latched onto the final pass to score a breathtaking try in the right corner.
Central West centre Tim Alison then scored adjacent to the left upright, giving Emus a perfect finish to the game.
“Our fitness held up,” Logan said.
“That was one of the most encouraging things.”
Logan said he was impressed with everyone, but singled out a handful who played starring roles.
“I was very impressed with Rob Thorburn, who we didn’t get a lot of football out of in 2013 [due to a shoulder injury],” Logan said.
“Our back-rowers were very good as well, Nick Tarleton, Sam Chamberlain and Keith Howarth in particular.”
Logan lauded his troops’ effort, before conceding there was plenty to work on ahead of Emus’ second trial match against the Blue Mountains, 2013 NSW Suburban Rugby Union division three champions.
“Our execution was a bit off,” he said.
“ That sort of thing is to be expected at this time of year though.”