IF Orange Emus are serious about not only making this season’s Blowes Clothing Cup top five, but challenging for the title when they get there, then tomorrow’s game against the Platypi in Forbes is a must win.
The proud Forbes club is languishing on the bottom of the Central West Rugby Union first grade ladder, winless from their first four games of 2012.
It’s a game Emus are expected to win. But that’s what makes it a danger game.
At Grinsted Park, Forbes are a completely different unit to the one which has them sitting winless with no points on the 2012 competition ladder.
Emus, currently in fourth with three wins and one loss, enter the match without two key backline figures in the form of Nigel Staniforth and skipper Andrew Swain.
Emus will be without preferred No.10 Staniforth for the next month after he injured his knee in the Greens loss to CSU Bathurst in round two.
Staniforth’s replacement and captain Swain will also be out for four weeks after the Blue Bulls representative suffered rib damage last weekend in the Greens’ 23-20 win over Dubbo Roos.
Take the 10 and 12 out of any side in the competition and it hurts.
“It’s a real danger game for us,” coach Paul Ringland said.
Graydon Staniforth slots into the play making role for Emus tomorrow.
Isaac White moves to fullback.
“It’s a two-fold benefit for us,” Ringland said of the backline reshuffle.
“Having Graydon at 10 allows him to run the show with his experience, his communication and his kicking game. And then moving Whitey back to fullback, which is probably his best position, really gives us a strike weapon.”
Ringland said despite his side’s strong start to the year, there was plenty to work on.
“We’re happy with parts. The first 30 minutes last week (against Dubbo) was great then we fell away. The effort was there but we lacked a bit of execution,” he said.
“It’s better than our start last season (one win from four matches), you’ve got to look at the positives, but we’re not getting too carried away.”
Emus take on Forbes at Grinsted Park from 3.15pm tomorrow.
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 Graydon Staniforth, 11 Elliot Brice, 12 Simon Thompson, 13 Tom Green, 14 Toby Wright, 15 Isaac White.