DESPITE Bathurst Panthers being Orange CYMS’ bogey side in recent years, green and golds’ player-coach Luke Morris is “very confident” leading into Saturday’s Group 10 first division qualifying semi-final at Wade Park.
CYMS beat Panthers in round five, 22-18, in the middle of an 11-game winning streak which shot the green and golds to premiership favouritism.
However, CYMS then slumped to three straight defeats, including a 20-16 loss at the hands of the men in black.
“We’ve won one each which adds a bit of spice I think,” Morris explained.
“Our win against them in round five was the first time we had beaten them in reggies in several years, four or five if memory serves. So that gives us a lot of confidence.”
Despite finishing the season with two wins, the losing streak was enough to cost CYMS the minor premiership, finishing second.
Morris said the three straight losses did his side more good than bad, acting as a wake-up call.
“We also blooded a lot of under 18s during that period, so we didn’t really play at full strength,” Morris said.
“The first game we won after that was an 84-6 win against Mudgee, so it did wake us up.”
The green and golds will boast a huge, full strength, 25-man contingent on Saturday including former NSW Country halfback Warick Colley who, after several injury problems in 2014, will come off the bench.
“He’s a pretty handy bloke to have from the bench,” Morris laughed.
“We’re at full strength for this game, and with unlimited subs we just named as many as we can fit into jumpers.
“Panthers have always been very strong in reserves and we’re expecting a tough game. We’re making sure we don’t get ahead of ourselves, and focusing purely on this game.”
The first division qualifying semi-final kicks off at 1pm on Saturday at Wade Park.
ORANGE CYMS: 1 Wayne Collett, 2 Jordan Clark, 3 Luke Coleman, 4 Epa Navale, 5 Zac Rue, 6 Mitch Brown, 7 Tom Stonestreet, 18 Cam Jones, 9 Luke Morris, 10 Anthony Redfern, 11 Nick Law (c), 12 Adam Gibson, 13 Scott Sullivan; Bench; Warick Colley.