ORANGE City Lions coach Fletcher Niven said he has “no idea what to expect” in Saturday’s Blowes Clothing Cup colts clash with Mudgee at Pride Park.
The first placed Lion cubs sit eight points clear of the Wombats in second, and incredibly, despite being round 14 tomorrow, the two teams are yet to play each other this season.
In round five’s corresponding clash Mudgee was unable to field a team due to supplying the bulk of Central West’s under 18 team, which competed on the same weekend.
Central West Rugby Union chief executive officer Peter Veenstra said due to the extenuating circumstances, the game was deferred rather than having the Wombats forfeit.
“It wasn’t fair to punish Mudgee in that situation, their players were away on rep duty,” Veenstra said.
“The two clubs were unable to find an alternative date, so they agreed upon a 28-all draw where both sides received a bonus point.”
Niven said the “interesting” circumstances, combined with Orange’s weather, has made it tough for the 2013 premiers to prepare for the top-of-the-table clash.
“We’re struggling to train once a week at the moment, poor old Pride Park is a mess,” Niven said.
“It makes it hard to prepare, but we’re doing everything we can to make sure we’re ready. I think the boys are a guilty of being a little bit too relaxed, so we’ve worked hard on our attitude leading into this game.
“We’ve been inconsistent, playing atrocious footy one week and brilliant footy the next. We need to make sure we bring our best [tomorrow] just to compete with Mudgee, let alone beat them.”
Wombats coach Tim Burgess said his side will potentially be light on troops again, and will enter the game wary of a strong Orange City unit.
“A couple of guys are out, one is suspended, but if we can get a decent side on the paddock we’ll do well,” he said.
“We’ll stick to our normal game plan, we don’t change it for any one team, but we can obviously make alterations during the game if we need to.
“I wouldn’t say we’re confident so much, but it will be a great game I think.”
Kick-off is 1pm.
ORANGE CITY LIONS: 1 Harry Cooper, 2 Jerome Lander, 3 Logan Brockmann, 4 Angus Niven, 5 Ben Wright, 6 Harry Taberner, 7 Billy Freeman, 8 Ben Swadling, 9 Tom Nell, 10 Joey Thorley, 11 Luke Weeks, 12 Matt McDonald, 13 Matt Dalton, 14 Kyle Haggar, 15 Tom Fisher.