EARLY in Saturday's game it looked like Cowra was going to inflict a second 2015 Blowes Clothing Cup defeat on Orange City.
Two tries in the first 10 minutes had the Eagles up 12-0 before the Lions did what they do and came back hard to record a 36-15 victory at Pride Park.
Cowra was up 15-12 at half-time but were held scoreless in the second period as the hosts piled on four tries for the bonus point win.
Orange City co-coach Steve Hamson said his side didn't handle the early pressure from Cowra.
"They took us on in the forwards like they did when we played them down there (Cowra)," Hamson explained.
"We were sort of expecting that but I don't think early on we dealt with it, they were getting through us a bit and getting behind us.
"In second half we were obviously able to sort our defence out. I think once we could applied some pressure to them we were able to get on top of them."
It was a lacklustre opening half from the competition leaders and Cowra made them pay with scrumhalf Jimmy Montgomery diving over in the third minute with Aaron Denzel converting.
Six minutes later winger Charlie Buckmaster was in thanks to a solid pass from Mitchell Budge and Cowra was up 12-0.
The home side fired up and prop Logan Brockmann was able to barge his way over and Mesui Lemoto converted.
A penalty to Cowra for a high tackle allowed Denzel to boot a penalty goal and the Eagles were up 15-7. Unfortunately for the Eagles, they were the last points they would score and the game still had 50 minutes to play.
A second try to Brockmann closed the gap to 15-12 after he missed the conversion and this was the score at half-time.
It was a different game in the second half as No.8 Tatafu Na'aniumotu scored two minutes in after he charged at the tryline and slammed the ball down.
A crucial moment came in the 46th minute when Buckmaster was in the clear and powering for the left corner.
Lions flyhalf Cameron Cole was able to chase him down and tackle him over the sideline in a certain try-saver.
Minutes later City fullback Joey Lasagavibau scored to push his side out to 22-15.
The two sides slogged it out but the Lions were able to finish with a few late tries to Jake Davis and Tom Fisher. Sam Dwyer's two conversions finished off the victory.
VIDEO: What the coaches had to say after full time:
Cowra coach David Oliver was happy with his side's start but admitted Orange City didn't allow them to go on with it.
"Two tries in the first five or 10 minutes. We start very well. It's very easy for us because of the way we play the game, it's very easy for our forwards to get into the game and try to get early dominance," Oliver said.
"It's working for us but there's obviously a few things we've got to fix now."
Orange City lost inside centre and goal-kicker Lemoto in the 26th minute after he jarred his right thumb. He had just come back after a few weeks off from a jarred left thumb.
His absence was particularly noticed when it was time to kick for points with Brockmann and Duncan Young both missing conversions before Dwyer nailed his shots late in the game.
"That's something we have to sort out," Hamson said.
"Obviously games close to the end of the season we can't afford to leave four, six, eight points out there."
After being monstered by the Cowra forwards in the first half of the season, Hamson was happy with his pack on Saturday.
"I thought our front row as a unit did exceptionally well," he said.
"They were obviously outweighed, and, when you consider how they shoved us around down there, for our guys to bounce back the way they did was outstanding.
"Tafu was exceptionally strong. When our scrum did get under pressure or was going backwards he was able to pick that ball up at No.8 and get us over the advantage line."
Hamson also praised scrumhalf Tom Nell and fullback Lasagavibau.
"I'm so happy he decided to come and play," Hamson grinned.
ORANGE CITY LIONS 36 (Logan Brockmann 2, Tatafu Na'aniumotu, Joey Lasagavibau, Jake Davis, Tom Fisher tries; Sam Dwyer 2, Mesui Lemoto conv) def COWRA EAGLES 15 (Jimmy Montgomery, Charlie Buckmaster tries; Aaron Denzel conv, pen goal).