A BLISTERING four-try performance from skipper Nigel Staniforth has gifted Orange Emus an impressive 48-17 victory over the Forbes Platypi on Saturday.
Played in periodic rain at Endeavour Oval, Staniforth scored four of his side's final five tries - including a second-half hat-trick - to turn a seven-point advantage at the half into an eight-try romp over the visiting Platypi.
Overshadowing a hat-trick from hooker Keith Howarth, the greens outside centre was nigh on unstoppable in the second term to help Emus chalk up its third win through the opening five rounds of the 2014 season and remain unbeaten at home this season.
"I've got a few tries but it's been a while since I've got that many," Staniforth said.
"The boys have been working really hard. For myself, just to play a few games in a row has taken about three years to do, which has been good."
But as glittering as the ball looked in hand, the most pleasing aspect for Andrew Logan and his coaching staff would no doubt have been the grit shown in defence from the home side in the second 40 minutes.
Engaging in an arm wrestle with the physical Platypi early, the lead changed hands five times as two tries to Howarth and then another to prop Nas Havealeta were off-set by a first-half double to Forbes skipper James King.
Fortuitously perhaps given Forbes enjoyed the better of the opening stanza, Emus went into the break up 24-17 thanks to Staniforth's first and Sam Ryan's second conversion of the afternoon.
But at that point, an Emus win was far from a fait accompli.
Turning to their scrum time and time again, Emus built forward momentum early in the second half and with astute kicking from Adam Perri and fullback Ryan, dominated territory for the most of the second period too.
Forward dominance established, Emus then turned to its backline.
Howarth crossed in the 49th minute to cap his hat-trick and from there, Staniforth was the main beneficiary as he crossed three times in the space 15 minutes to shoot the hosts out to an an unassailable lead and maintain the club's stance in the competition's top five.
Tellingly, Forbes posed Emus' defensive line with plenty of questions, but the hosts had all of the answers to chalk up a comfortable 31-point triumph.
"That's my favourite bit," Staniforth said glowing about Emus' defence against the Platypi.
"Everyone likes to score points, but obviously that last 10 minutes we got up, got off our line. We didn't have to, but we wanted to. We wanted to be part of the game and be aggressive.
"We did all of the hard work. We knew with Forbes their forwards, you've got to meet them and our boys did that ... basically it's reward for good forward work."
Lamenting a lack of execution and desire, Forbes skipper James King was disappointed in his side's lacklustre second half.
"As soon as it got wet we didn't make the one-on-one tackles. They just ran through us. Our talk wasn't there, you can't play 40 minutes of footy and expect to win the game," King said, his side's best on Saturday at Endeavour Oval.
For the hosts, forwards Alo Finau and Howarth were immense, as was Andrew Cosgrove at openside flanker.
ORANGE EMUS 48 (Nigel Staniforth 4, Keith Howarth 3, Nas Havealeta tries; Sam Ryan 4 conv) def FORBES PLATYPI 17 (James King 2 tries; Angus King 2 conv, pen goal)