ORANGE Emus have defied both a physical Narromine and rain that'd leave Noah reaching for his floaties in a bonus-point 25-18 Blowes Clothing Cup triumph over the Gorillas at Cale Oval.
"It was biblical," Emus coach Andrew Logan said of the storm that hit Narromine on Saturday afternoon.
"It'd be a deluge for about 10 minutes, stop for five, then come and storm again for another 10 minutes. The conditions weren't great. Narromine were hard on the ball, they've got a great backrow, it was just a tough battle and one of the games you'd love to win.
"We'll take plenty out of knowing we're getting better at closing out the close games."
Skipping out to a 10-0 lead after unconverted tries to the opportunistic Carter Hirini and Tom Green, Emus then had to fight against a dogged home side led gallantly by skipper Luke Brown.
The Gorillas worked their way back to 10-8 before a Sam Ryan penalty goal booted Emus' advantage out to five.
An unconverted Narromine try shortly after drew scores level before Hirini's second and a five-pointer to fill-in halfback Chris Bailey ran Emus out to a 25-13 lead.
Not to lay down, Narromine edged closer thanks to a try late in the game but it wasn't enough as Emus held on to claim their fifth win of the 2014 season and keep pace with early Blowes Clothing Cup favourites Dubbo Roos and defending premiers Orange City.
"It was a forwards day today," Logan said.
"It's one of those games where you find out whether or not you've got a forward pack capable of standing up, and I think we're on our way."
Leading the charge, prop Nas Havealeta was the Greens' best, using his sheer size and strength to put his side over the advantage line.
Inside centre Tim Alison was also instrumental in the seven-point win.
"When we needed metres, he made metres when there wasn't any there to be made. He was strong in contact," Logan said.
"Rob Thorburn as well was sensation for us today."
Logan said the tough nature of the win in Narromine was the ideal tune-up for his side's next clash, a local derby blockbuster with Orange City on June 14.
Still determined to play down his side's credentials leading into the clash, the second-year Emus mentor said his side will be better prepared in 2014.
"Obviously we're a more consistent outfit than last year, and they might look at the ladder and think we're a tougher proposition than last year," he said.
"But Orange City's has the history of closing out close matches, we don't. Orange City has the history of premierships, we don't. If there's a team with something to prove, it's us. They'd be favourites heading into this game."
ORANGE EMUS 25 (Carter Hirini 2, Tom Green, Chris Bailey tries; Sam Ryan conv, pen goal) def NARROMINE GORILLAS 18