DESPITE an inauspicious performance against CSU Bathurst last weekend, Orange City heads into Saturday’s Blowes Clothing Cup clash with Bathurst Bulldogs full of confidence.
The rampant Bulldogs side has won its last four games and Lions’ coach Mick Gray conceded his side’s come-from-behind bonus point win over the students is not the ideal preparation for tomorrow’s clash.
“The main point from that game though, is that we’re still winning,” Gray said.
“We might be winning ugly, but we’re still winning. Against the students we had a few uncharacteristic defensive lapses, and it seems like we just aren’t quite there at the moment.
“Don’t get me wrong, we’re happy where we’re at. But we know we can play better, and [tomorrow] will be tough but we’re very confident.”
With little love lost between the two sides, the third-placed Lions head to Bathurst’s Ashwood Park desperate for a bonus point win to keep in touch with the top two, Dubbo Kangaroos and Orange Emus.
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“We definitely need to keep winning and we need bonus points if we are to move into second, which we want,” Gray said.
“There are a few aspects of our game we need to improve on. It seemed like last week we did some aspects of the game great, and others badly.”
With the top three all but set, the final two weeks of the regular season will determine the final standings and Gray said his side is setting realistic goals.
“Potentially we could still come first, but second is more realistic,” Gray said.
“We know as well as anyone that we need two bonus point wins to do that, which may not happen, and I guess we’re bracing ourselves to play Emus twice in a row, in next week’s derby and then again in the first week of the finals.
“The only thing that could change I guess is where the finals game is played.”
Gray and co-coach Steve Hamson have made just one change to last week’s team, with Tom Nell slotting into halfback at the expense of Brad Cleal.
Saturday’s clash kicks off at 3.15pm.
ORANGE CITY LIONS: 1 Scott Smith, 2 Josh Tremain, 3 Darcy Garlick, 4 Mitch Pearce, 5 Chris Barrett, 6 Gus Brotherton, 7 Duncan Young, 8 Josh Maley (c), 9 Tom Nell, 10 Michael Sparks, 11 Cameron Cole, 12 Mesui Lemoto, 13 Jake Davis, 14 Sam Powell, 15 Mitch Green.