FOR Orange’s rugby union fans, Saturday’s Blowes Clothing Cup derby should have been a spectacle.
But someone forgot to tell Mother Nature about the game and she decided to give us a dose of some good old horrible winter weather at Endeavour Oval.
This meant Orange Emus and Orange City slogged out a wet and muddy 8-all draw.
Sound familiar? It should. In the first derby in 2012, the cross-town rivals played out a 3-all draw in appalling conditions at Pride Park.
On that occasion Orange City had chances to score late in the game but couldn’t convert.
Last Saturday it was Emus who were camped on City’s line for what seemed like an eternity in the game’s final minutes without anything to show for it.
After Saturday’s game, two-time defending champions Orange City were happy to record a draw, while Orange Emus, who claimed the wooden spoon last year, were disappointed not to convert their chances into a win.
I thought back in 2012, after the drawn derby, the feelings would be reversed.
I expected the Lions, who were leading the competition at the time, to be disappointed with the draw and Emus, who were third, to be happy to share the points.
I was wrong. Instead their feelings mirrored that of last Saturday’s.
In 2012 Lions co-coach Mick Gray wasn’t worried about the tied result.
“We were a chance to snatch it there at the end ... but a draw was a good result in a derby,” Gray said.
Last Saturday Gray said: “It would have been nice to have a win but we’ll take a draw.”
Last Saturday Emus coach Andrew Logan was clearly frustrated not to get a win.
“We’re not disappointed in the outcome so much, just disappointed that we had our opportunities and we didn’t convert,” Logan said.
In 2012, then Emus coach Paul Ringland had the same message.
“I’m extremely proud of the boys ... But I’m also a little disappointed because I thought we could have gotten the win,” Ringland said.
I find it interesting how they each had a similar sentiment after the two games.
Saturday’s result means, at the halfway point in the season, Orange City are second on the competition ladder, four points behind leaders Dubbo Kangaroos and one point ahead of third-placed Emus.
The way the two Orange sides are going, when they meet again in the final regular season match of the year on August 16, we could be in line for a hell of a derby.
Someone just needs to make sure they talk to Mother Nature nicely before the game.