“I THINK we’ve got the boys here to go the distance.”
And based on what his side dished up in thumping last year’s Group 10 first division premiers Bathurst Panthers in Saturday’s qualifying semi-final, Luke Morris’ Orange CYMS outfit are firming following a 34-4 victory over the men in black at Wade Park.
“We’re not getting too far ahead of ourselves,” Morris quickly added, CYMS to now meet minor premiers Bathurst St Pat’s next Sunday.
“Because St Pat’s are a big side and they’re good and they throw the ball around, we need to stay strong and keep our ‘D’ (defence).
“If we can keep our ‘D’ like that, we’ll go a long way.”
Continuing the green and golds’ unhappy knack of slow starts on Saturday, CYMS conceded the first try of the game when Nick Loader scooped up a Panthers cross-field bomb to score out wide and edge his side ahead 4-0 after six minutes.
Gradually warming to the task, CYMS began matching it with Panthers through the middle and when the pack ascendancy swung, Morris’ men struck.
Wiley fullback Wayne Collett locked up the scores when his successful chip-and-chase resulted in his first try of the afternoon, and when Panthers rake Aaron Bell was sin-binned for a professional foul following a charging Nick Law run off the next kick-off, the momentum was well and truly CYMS’.
Craig Simpson made the most of the extra man to score just before half-time and gift CYMS a 10-4 halftime lead.
From there, it was a green and gold wash, as Collett bagged his second, while tries to Epa Navale, Ryan Griffin and Zac Rue, his a 90 metre intercept classic Ryan Girdler would be proud of, capped a 34-4 victory.
Rapt with the win, the only headache for Morris appears to be juggling a squad of 25 players throughout 70 minutes of footy.
“But when you’ve got 25 good blokes it’s not that hard,” Morris said.
“(Panthers) started well, full credit to them. We always struggle that first 10 minutes but our ‘D” held up really well.
“For them to only get one try off a kick, that was phenomenal.”
While a hit to their claims, Panthers captain-coach Brian Moss still believes the men in black have the potential to go back-to-back.
“I’ve got no doubt,” he fired.
“There’s a couple of good little players there ... (CYMS are) a good side, don’t worry, they’re a big side and they keep coming at you.
“But as you’ve seen in that first half, we can compete with them. If we put it together we can match any side in the comp.”
ORANGE CYMS 34 (Wayne Collett 2, Epa Navale, Zac Rue, Craig Simpson, Ryan Griffin tries; Mitch Brown 3, Tom Stonestreet 2 goals) def BATHURST PANTHERS 4 (Nick Loader try).