THEY’RE not the biggest, nor are they the fastest, but Orange City’s tight five of Nathan Short, Josh Tremain, John Gander, Mitch Pearce and Chris Barrett have certainly proved enough of a handful for every scrum in the region.
So much so, you could dub them the incredibles.
“Our tight five was incredible,” Orange City co-coach Steve Hamson said after his side’s 29-18 win over Dubbo Roos last Saturday.
“Our set piece was great. For a littler pack, the scrum pushed (Roos) off the ball, they took tight heads at crucial times.”
Hamson’s co-coach Mick Gray jumps in.
“It’s a credit to our scrum actually,” Gray said.
“We’ve done a fair bit of work on it and it’s paid dividends. They deserve all the credit for it because it was crucial turnover ball we needed.”
They punch well above their weight and never take a backward step.
It’s been a feature of the Lions play throughout 2012.
And it’s one of the main reasons why Orange City have secured the right to host this season’s Central West Rugby Union grand final day on September 15, with the Lions to tackle either last Saturday’s opposition, Roos, or defending premiers Parkes.
Both have monster scrums.
But both teams are yet to better the Lions pack.
Hamson said not only have most sides fallen to the text-book scrummaging of the Lions, the side’s willingness to defend its line has proved the difference when it matters most.
“Eventually our defence forced (Roos) to kick (last Saturday) and once we got the ball off them we can make the most of the opportunities we had,” he said.
“We showed a fair bit of character to hang with them and take our opportunities when we got them.”
Gray said the side’s strength lies within the club’s depth.
He said with so many players of first grade calibre dominating in an Orange City second grade side that is also through to the grand final, competition for places was hot.
“One of the lucky things we’ve got to is the quality of reserves on our bench to keep the intensity up,” Gray said.
“We brought three or four guys on out there (against Roos) and our game actually went up a level.
“Our reserves are really helping and they fact they’re in the grand final too is great.”