YOU could wax lyrical about the scoring potential Orange City’s backline possesses for eons, but at the end of the day, the flash and brilliance at the back means nothing if the ruck and mauling up front is non-existent.
To start 2012, City’s pack has aimed up and then some.
Take a look at their effort in Narromine.
Backs against the wall and faced with the daunting task of muscling up against a giant Gorillas pack, the Lions forwards stood up to be counted when it mattered most, putting in their biggest scrum at the death which led to Nick Quinn scoring the match winner.
The 31-8 win at Cale Oval set up a collision course with CSU Bathurst, the only other undefeated Blowes Clothing Cup side through six rounds, at Pride Park tomorrow.
It will be City’s biggest test thus far.
Orange City prop Nathan Short is no stranger to what the CSU Bathurst club is all about.
The big tight head played five seasons with the students and was a premiership winner with the club in 2004.
The 29-year-old was expecting the students to throw caution to the wind with the ball as they look to find a way around the wall like Lions’ defence, which has conceded a shade over six miserly points per game this year.
“It looks like they’ve got plenty of points in them,” Short said.
“They attack from everywhere from what I’ve heard, so it’ll be a big challenge.”
But City’s defence will be ready and waiting.
“I think we’ve got a lot of pride in our line,” he said.
“Even when sides have crossed, we’re back there behind the line and we’re not real impressed. We’ve worked really hard on our line speed and our defence.”
Making the work of the pack even more impressive is they’ve been forced to dig in without skipper Josh Maley, who is out for the season with a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament.
Mitch Pearce has stepped into Maley’s big shoes in the second row.
“We’re a pretty tight group, we’re all mates which helps,” Short said.
Short made mention of Parkes’ unbeaten start to last year.
The Boars won their opening eight games.
They then dropped a few but re-grouped to go on and take out the 2011 title.
Short said it was important City recognise the opportunity their undefeated start to 2012 has presented.
“Right now confidence is high but we’re keeping everything in check. Comps aren’t won in May. It’s a long season,” he said.
“I think a few of us older guys know we probably don’t have many years left in us. It’s important to let the younger guys know how good a position we’ve put ourselves in.”
Kick-off is at 3.15pm at Pride Park.