ORANGE Emus firmly entrenched themselves in the Blowes Clothing Cup top five with an "ugly" 25-3 win over Cowra, at Cowra Rugby Ground, on Saturday.
Emus led from the outset, and despite being a less than perfect performance, Emus coach Andrew Logan lauded his players' efforts.
"It wasn't a great performance, especially the first half," Logan said.
"But it's a win we'll take any day of the week. It really showed that when things might not be going our way, if we stick to our structures and our patterns things will happen.
"It was a good lesson for us in ugly rugby."
Try-scoring sensation Nigel Stanifoth, who scored a quartet of majors last weekend against Forbes, ran in two first-half five pointers, one of which fly-half Adam Perri converted. Perri also nailed a penalty goal, and fullback Sam Ryan seized an opportunity to kick a rare field goal, giving Emus an 18-3 lead going into the break.
""It was very messy throughout the first half, from both teams," Logan said.
"We lost quite a lot of our own ball in the lineout, and our scrum wasn't great. We fixed it up in the second half and kept Cowra scoreless though."
Greens' winger Carter Hirini scored the only try of the second half, which Perri duly converted. Logan said the most pleasing aspect of the win was seeing his players take responsibility for their performance.
"A lot of the guys really stood up and took it upon themselves to get us back on track, which was very pleasing," Logan said.
"Nas (Havealeta) was great in the scrums and around the paddock. Nick Hughes-Clapp cleaned up our lineout well, and our backline continually shot up off the line, right into the 80th minute of the game.
"There is plenty of positives, and getting a win over here was crucial for us."
ORANGE EMUS 25 (Nigel Staniforth 2, Carter Hirini tries; Adam Perri 2 conversions, pen goal; Sam Ryan field goal) def COWRA EAGLES 3