ORANGE Emus hooker Tom Goolagong hates going to Narromine, and doesn’t try to hide it.
Emus take on Narromine on Saturday at Cale Oval, the Gorillas’ fortress, and Goolagong said the greens should expect nothing less than a torrid Blowes Clothing Cup clash.
“We’re hardly going ape about playing the Gorillas in Narromine,” he said, a giggle escaping from beneath his beard.
“It’s a terrible trip. They grow an extra leg at home and they’re always a massive team. We’re going well but they’ll want to knock us off so we need to be switched on.”
Goolagong takes makeshift rake Keith Howarth’s position on Saturday.
Howarth moves to the back row to replace the unavailable Shane Udy.
Never one to take anything too seriously, the 25-year-old joked he would have no issues handling the standard of the Blowes Clothing Cup having returned to Emus this season after a stint in the NSW Suburban Rugby Union competition.
“I played against (former Wallabies) Ryan Cross and Drew Mitchell last year, everyone should know that,” he laughed.
“But seriously, Sydney rugby was a good standard, so hopefully I can put what I learned down there into practice. I’m chomping at the bit to play first grade here again.”
Goolagong, a regular in the greens’ reserve grade team, has made sporadic appearances in the top flight off the bench in 2014 and said his team needs to take a simple approach against the Gorillas.
“Against these bigger sides the simpler you play, the better off you’ll be,” he said.
“We just need to make sure we defend well, and retain our own ball. Personally, I’ve spoken to the coaches and my role looks like it will be a ball runner.
“Trucking it up, either off the halfback or Comby (fly-half TJ Cunynghame). I’ll just look to get us over the advantage line, and in a good position to unleash our backs.”
Emus and Narromine kick off at 3.15pm on Saturday.
ORANGE EMUS: 1 Nas Havealeta, 2 Tom Goolagong, 3 Brent Braithwaite, 4 Nick Hughes-Clapp, 5 Sam McLean, 6 Keith Howarth, 7 Andrew Cosgrove, 8 Rob Thorburn, 9 Chris Bailey, 10 TJ Cunynghame, 11 Carter Hirini, 12 Tim Alison, 13 Nigel Staniforth (c), 14 Tom Green, 15 Sam Ryan.