WILL the real Orange CYMS please stand up?
The enigma of the 2012 Group 10 season, the green and golds have run uncharacteristically hot and cold throughout the search for a third straight premier league crown, frustratingly so for player-coach Mick Sullivan.
Tomorrow, the two-time defending premier’s season goes on the line when CYMS tackle Bathurst St Pat’s in the premiership’s preliminary final at Wade Park.
Normally in do-or-die scenarios, CYMS have shone.
But it’s hard to know just how the green and golds will respond come kick-off tomorrow afternoon.
And it comes down to consistency.
Take a look at the side’s record versus St Pat’s.
CYMS’ won their last clash 64-22 after being defeated 12-10 in atrocious conditions in the regular season’s final round and then again when the two first met back in round seven, with the Saints proving too good in a 36-18 triumph.
Those three clashes are the good, the bad and the ugly of CYMS’ quest for a history making three-peat.
And while St Pat’s can lay claim to having the wood over CYMS throughout 2012, the 42-point demolition job the green and golds went about in week one of the semi-finals will have given the Bathurst club nightmares this week.
So just what clicked for CYMS two weeks ago?
And can they do it again?
“The boys just really turned up. They wanted it for each other and I think it showed,” Sullivan said, hinting the same steely resolve that has taken the club all the way over the past two years was in full flight a fortnight ago.
But what happened to it last weekend?
With grand final hosting right on the line, the same CYMS side found itself trailing Lithgow 20-6 at half-time.
The green and golds - minus the injured Sullivan - did fight back to lead 24-20, but they eventually went down 32-24 to hand over the rights to host the Group 10 grand final, the first time it’ll be held out of Orange in two years.
With it all on the line CYMS just couldn’t get the job done, not like they have over the last two years.
It’s often said the only thing harder than winning a premiership is defending one.
CYMS are finding out the hard way just how tough it is to defend two.
Sullivan, though, remained defiant.
Although unlikely to return from the chronic hamstring injury that has seen him sit out the whole finals series, Sullivan said his side was as determined as ever to win the title.
They’ll show it tomorrow.
“Definitely. I think the most pleasing thing (about last week’s loss) was our last 10 minutes. We really could have let the game slip but we didn’t and for that reason I think we left the game with something to build on,” Sullivan said.
“We stuck it out which was good.”
Kick-off in tomorrow’s preliminary final is scheduled for 2pm at Wade Park.
ORANGE CYMS: 1 Tim Bassmann, 2 Epa Navale, 3 Cody Robbins, 4 Jacob Sutherland, 5 Scott Piper, 6 Dom Maley, 7 Warick Colley, 8 Terawhiti Cooper, 9 Sam Hill, 10 Kiel Vardanega, 11 Brett Sargent, 12 Josh Nixon, 13 Ben Gosper (c); Bench: 14 Riley Law, 15 Larsen Marabe, 16 Pat Gibson, 17 Des Knight.