IT may not seem like it based on face value but Orange Emus’ clash with the Cowra Eagles is a vital one.
The Eagles have won just the one game this season compared to Emus, who have started the season well to win three of their opening five matches of the Blowes Clothing Cup.
It’s fourth versus ninth.
But last weekend’s 15-12 loss to Forbes stung Emus.
It dented any momentum the Greens had.
And it’s momentum Emus need.
After tomorrow’s clash with Cowra, Emus travel to Dubbo to play an unpredictable Rhinos, they then host Narromine before travelling across town to take on an in-form Orange City.
All three games will be tough but after Forbes sprung an upset and beat Emus by three points last weekend, Greens No.8 Keith Howarth knows all too well all his side can do now is concentrate on accounting for the Eagles in Cowra.
“We’re going to pretty much expect the same thing [we got from Forbes] from these blokes,” Howarth said.
“Cowra are always hard over there. Forbes, we always struggle over there. They beat us by 50 points one year. [Sides like Forbes and Cowra] are harder sides at home, of course, but hopefully we can get a win.”
After playing the majority of last season in second grade in the second row, Howarth said he was enjoying being back in the No.8 jersey as much as he was playing in the top flight Central West Rugby Union competition again.
He has worked hard over the off-season, as has the entire pack.
It was now up to an injury-ravaged backline to fire.
“Hopefully we can get up with this new backline. We struggled a little bit last week but those blokes are talented enough to play at his level,” he said.
Emus coach Paul Ringland said Cowra was a danger game, adding if Emus can jag a win it’ll do the side’s confidence a world of good ahead of a tough run of games.
“Definitely, especially with a few players missing,” he said.
“We just need to get that confidence back so we’re flying when we meet those three.”
Tomorrow’s game was scheduled to be played at Endeavour Oval.
However, it has been moved to the Cowra Rugby Ground and will be played as the curtain-raiser to the NSW Country versus Queensland Country match.
Emus play Cowra from 1.40pm.
ORANGE EMUS: 1 Brandon Akerstorm, 2 Tom Goolagong, 3 Jim Roberts, 4 Ben Parkes, 5 Scott McLean, 6 Dan Brown, 7 Nick Mullen, 8 Keith Howarth, 9 Harry Fardell, 10 TJ Cunynghame, 11 Elliot Brice, 12 Simon Thompson, 13 Isaac White, 14 Tom Green, 15 Graydon Staniforth.