THEY’VE proved they can stop tries, now Orange City can score them as well.
The Lions secured a bonus-point win over the Forbes Platypi at Pride Park on Saturday, running in six tries to nil in their 38-3 round three Blowes Clothing Cup win.
Led by a hat-trick of tries from electrifying winger Sione Lafau’ou, the Lions scored through forwards John Colgan and Chris Barrett as well as outside centre Ben Mills to bring the Orange City faithful to their feet and complete three wins from their opening three games.
But, as entertaining as scoring six tries is, it was the measly three points against the Lions that brought a smile to the face of co-coach Steve Hamson.
Orange City have now conceded just 11 points in three games throughout 2012.
“It’s something we talk a lot about,” Hamson said.
“Getting off our line, getting our role defensively as to who’s doing what and also working hard on not giving away penalties at the breakdown. In the past we’ve given away a lot there. Now we try and hold our feet more and be a bit more disciplined.
“I think that’s paying off. We’re not giving teams a help up the field. It’s about patience.”
And patience prevailed.
At 0-all after 20 minutes and then just 7-3 at half-time, Forbes were running with the Lions after the first 40 minutes.
But a Platypi error just four minutes into the second period opened the flood gates.
Ben Mills split the Forbes defence for his first try of the season and just 60 seconds later Lafau’ou busted several Platypi tackles on his way to scoring his first for the afternoon, with fullback Anthony Salmon nailing both conversions to give City a 21-3 lead.
City’s scrum then took charge and, on the back of a strong kicking game from Michael Sparks, City began to throw the ball around.
Further tries to Barrett and two more to Lafau’ou capped off the memorable win.
The Lions defence held strong, and, given space, Lafau’ou made Forbes pay.
“He doesn’t let you down,” Hamson said referring to the Lions winger commonly known as “Junior”.
“If he can square you up he’ll beat you. He scored one try there today, I think he ran through some of them twice.
“He’s got no right to score some of the tries he does. He’s a solid fella and so well balanced he only has to have half a chance. You’ve seen him today, one on seven and he still scores from 40 (metres) out.”
Orange City now sit third on the Blowes Clothing Cup ladder behind CSU Bathurst and Narromine.
Hamson said it was a case of so far so good for the Lions.
“It’s going well. We’ve been lucky injury-wise. We’ve only got Josh Maley out. Everyone else is fit and got through today fit. Everything seems to be right... it’s easy when you’re winning, everyone’s always happy,” Hamson said with grin.
“I think if we think if we can stay with (the opposition) early, we can generally wear them down. We’ve done a lot more this pre-season than in the past and everything is pretty clear for everyone to understand.
“It’s just about not making mistakes, moving off your line, making your one-on-ones and just being patient. That’s really all we work on.”
Forbes coach Phil Prior said his side let themselves down.
“We got a lesson today. Our fundamentals let us down and when you don’t win your own set pieces and your fundamentals let you down you lose the game,” Prior fired.