ORANGE Emus coach Paul Ringland believes last weekend’s 44-25 loss to a rampant CSU Bathurst was the perfect wake-up call for the Greens ahead of one of the toughest tests in the Blowes Clothing Cup.
Emus travel to North Parkes Oval to tackle the defending premiers, the Boars, in round three action tomorrow.
It’s one of the hardest road trips on the Central West Rugby Union calendar.
And Ringland is hoping Emus use the disappointment of last weekend’s 19-point loss to the students to get over the top of the Boars.
“It was pretty disappointing. I think everyone has taken on board now what’s required to do well in the competition. It was a good wake up call for us early in the year,” Ringland said.
“We dropped off in attitude and for 30 minutes there we got punished. We’ve put a line through it now and we’re moving forward.”
But, as Parkes proved last year, it’s not going to be easy.
“They’ve got a big strong pack with plenty of experience with Hair (Lavaka), and Johnny Rathbone (scrumhalf) is the best player in the competition. He sparks them,” Ringland said.
Making matters worse for Emus, they lost flyhalf Nigel Staniforth to a knee injury last weekend and will be without the classy half for tomorrow’s clash with Parkes.
Ringland said Staniforth was a big loss.
“We were a little lost after we lost Nige,” Ringland said.
“He is pivotal to us in attack and defence.”
Skipper Andrew Swain takes the place of Staniforth in the No.10 jersey while flanker Mick McGee has moved to inside centre with Dan Brown promoted to the side of the scrum.
Tom Green will debut for Emus on the wing.
Kick-off is at 3.15pm tomorrow at Parkes.
ORANGE EMUS: 1 Brandon Akerstrom, 2 Tom Goolagong, 3 Jim Roberts, 4 Ben Parkes, 5 Scott McLean, 6 Dan Brown, 7 Nick Mullen, 8 Keith Howarth, 9 TJ Cunynghame, 10 Andrew Swain (c), 11 Tom Green, 12 Mick McGee, 13 Isaac White, 14 Toby Wright, 15 Graydon Staniforth.