THEY say a week in rugby league is a long time.
Two weeks is an eternity.
Over the course of the last fortnight Orange Hawks have gone from Group 10 wooden spoon contenders to a club now in the premier league top five after beating Lithgow and heavyweights Bathurst St Pat’s 22-20 last Sunday.
Trailing 20-0 at half time, the two blues stormed home on the back of an intense defensive wave to complete one of the best comebacks seen at Wade Park in the last five years.
But just where does the two-point triumph leave Hawks leading into this weekend’s general bye?
With the likes of centre Brock McGarity and prop Arty Shead to return to Tim Mortimer’s side to play Bathurst Panthers on June 14, back-to-back wins has the two blues boasting plenty of momentum heading into the winter months and a looming local derby following the Panthers match-up.
“We’ve got a few coming back,” Mortimer said.
“We’re looking at Panthers and then CYMS again, so hopefully we can keep this run going, train hard in the next two weeks and put up our best effort.”
As he has been all season in the face of Hawks’ near misses to begin 2014, Mortimer was confident in his side’s ability.
The win over St Pat’s simply reaffirmed that notion.
“I think we’ve been capable of this all year, we just haven’t seen it yet,” he said.
“Workies was a good step and I think that second half (against Pat’s) was a good second step. We’re still playing under strength but we’ve definitely got capable blokes who can do the hard work and we’re obviously getting the rewards off the back of that.”
Mortimer’s double and some bone-rattling tackles completed one of the second year captain-coaches’ best displays for Hawks since joining the club at the beginning of 2013.
Modestly, the former Wentworthville NSW Cup player said it was his side’s enthusiasm that helped him lift to a new level.
“It’s contagious, I wasn’t the one to step up at the start, it was everyone else and then that makes me feel the same way,” Mortimer said, adding the club’s attacking shape is starting to click into gear in wins over Lithgow and Bathurst St Pat’s.
“We sucked them out and that made the holes. We had good shape and enthusiasm.”