HAT-TRICKS to wingers Tom Green and Carter Hirini have shot Orange Emus to an emphatic 55-0 win over the Cowra Eagles.
Played at Endeavour Oval, the greens flexed their considerable Blowes Clothing Cup premiership muscle on an Eagles outfit still boasting finals aspirations, but after conceding nine tries in horrific conditions on Saturday in Orange, those hopes of a late season rally are all but dashed.
Green said it was his side's goal to put the Eagles to the sword.
"And we achieved it," Green beamed.
"It was a good day at the office, we had a lot of fun out there.
"It's a real confidence booster, seeings as Cowra is still such a strong side. It gives us a lot more confidence heading into the tougher games over the next couple of weeks."
And over the opening 40 minutes, Cowra proved it was one of the competition's toughest sides.
Multiple phase play secured the Eagles a high volume of possession, and for a large period of the opening stanza Cowra peppered the Emus defensive line.
But in perhaps the best sign yet Andrew Logan's team is one sure to challenge defending premiers Orange City and current competition leaders Dubbo Roos, Emus time and time again turned defence into attack in one of the more impressive showings at Endeavour Oval this season.
WATCH OUR VIDEO OF TOM GREEN AND ADAM MEIKLEJOHN'S POST-GAME INTERVIEWS:
The home sides defence was as brutal as it was intense, and Cowra, the competition's third best attacking unit heading into round 14, had little response.
"Our defence was key, we worked on it at training this week," Green said.
"We knew Cowra were going to crash it through the middle, so that was our main focus today and we achieved that."
Making Cowra pay for their errors with the ball, Hirini scored the match's first try after seven minutes before Adam Cosgrove tucked the ball under his arm and ran 30 metres to score 10 minutes later, bumping the hosts advantage out to 12-0.
Hirini then had his second and third of the afternoon prior to halftime, the latter a cracker after the kiwi-born flyer turned on the afterburners to blitz the Cowra defence and gift Emus a 26-0 halftime lead.
About the only area of the game Emus weren't on top of was the penalty count, and just after play resumed for the second period an 8-1 tally in favour of Cowra forced referee Jarrod Simpson to hand greens lock Alo Finau a yellow card after the damaging forward was pinged for hands in the ruck.
The extra man meant little for Cowra, however, as Emus ran in tries to Nigel Saniforth, Lachy Harris and a stirring second-half hat-trick to Green, the highlight a 95-metre solo effort, to round out the thumping victory.
Cowra captain Adam Meiklejohn anointed Emus the toughest side his team has played this season.
"Absolutely. We've had City and Dogs the last couple of weeks and they're tough sides, but I think Emus have the edge on them at the minute," Meiklejohn said, not forgetting Dubbo Roos.
"We've got them in a couple of weeks time. We'll find out ... we'll try and do you boys a favour and knock them off for the minor premiership."
One of Cowra's best, Meiklejohn said Emus ability to counter attack was too much for the visiting Eagles.
"Full credit to Emus, they just capitalised on our mistakes," he said.
"I didn't think we were too bad around the ruck and our pick and go, but as soon as we made a mistake they went the length and made us paid, and when you've got speed out wide like they do, they use it well."
ORANGE EMUS 55 (Tom Green 3, Carter Hirini 3, Lachlan Harris, Nigel Staniforth, Adam Cosgrove tries; Staniforth 5 conv) def COWRA EAGLES 0