JOSH Maley and his Orange City Lions hustled and bustled the Dubbo Roos for the best part of 80 minutes to score their second successive win of the Blowes Clothing Cup season.
After accounting for premiers Parkes last week 19-3, the Lions on Saturday at No.1 Oval in Dubbo did most of the simple things right, made their defence felt causing handling problems for the home side and ultimately came away with the winning points.
Both sides scored a try in the first half as City led 11-5 after Anthony Salmon booted two penalty goals.
Salmon also came up with another two penalties in the final 40 minutes to seal the deal.
The Roos were coming off a 28-24 loss to Narromine last week but played some fairly ordinary football against the Lions.
They repeatedly made handling mistakes and as a result put themselves under pressure.
As well, their kicking game wasn’t up to first grade standard and it was only the tenacity of James Skuthorp, Brad Pugh, Junior Manase and Lee Toohey that prevented the Lions from scoring more tries.
When the Roos did hold onto the ball they scored a great try.
In a move that started on their own side of halfway, good clean out ball from a ruck saw the ball go through several sets of hands before hard running centre Mark Peteru scored in the tennis courts corner.
That gave the Roos a 5-3 lead after 30 minutes - but it was to be a short-lived advantage.
Attacking player of the match, Lions right winger Junior Lafo’ou, produced some magic that should not have happened.
He was able to beat at least six Roos defenders in a 50-metre run to the score down the left touchline.
And while Salmon missed that conversion, he booted a penalty goal right on half-time for their 11-5 lead.
Josh Dodd missed a penalty goal for the Roos six minutes after the break but when chances came and went for both sides, it was another Salmon penalty that stretched the lead out to 14-5, and another five minutes from time sealed the game with his fourth.
Orange City coach Steve Hamson said any win in Dubbo is a good win.
“The forwards again today were very good. We’ve worked hard in that area and while this was only the second game in, we’ve kept Dubbo scoreless in the second half. It was a really good effort,” Hamson said.
“They only made a couple of line breaks and that was another plus for us and showed the tenacity of the forward exchanges. So our effort in defence was very good and we didn’t give away too many penalties so that was also another plus.”
Like all the teams, the Lions coaching staff are still working new players into their side and that pleased Hamson also.
He agreed Junior Lafo’ou was a standout .... in a sort of way.
“Junior is Junior and that summed up his game again today,” Hamson said.
“I also thought Dan Johnston (No.8) and Josh Tremain (hooker) were very strong and the front row was solid.”
Unfortunately the Roos lost their Country hooker Peter Nau before the game when an ankle injury suffered at training kept him sidelined. Captain Shaun McHugh who suffered rib cartilage problems last week against Narromine was also out.
And to make matters worse Tim Berry was taken out of the game after 20 minutes suffering from headaches.
ORANGE CITY 17 (Junior Lafo’ou try; Anthony Salmon 4 pen goals) def DUBBO ROOS 5 (Mark Peteru try).