"We were outmuscled, outclassed and outplayed".
Orange City skipper Sam Coote didn't beat around the bush following Saturday night's all-Orange Blowes Clothing Cup derby loss to Emus, lauding the greens after they handed the Lions a comprehensive 46-12 loss.
"Our defence was bad, we didn't retain the ball and Emus just kept coming, they scored plenty of points obviously," Coote said.
"But we only played as well as they let us, they didn't really let us into the game and we didn't get ourselves into it either. Pretty much, we were outmuscled, outclassed and outplayed."
The performance of Emus' forward pack was the catalyst for the win, the greens' scrum won six against the head and dominated at the breakdown as well.
The undefeated competition-leaders' scintillating backline reaped the benefits, particularly winger Tom Green, who grabbed a well-deserved hat-trick.
Although the game, played under the bright lights of Wade Park following Eastern Suburbs' Intrust Super Shute Shield win over Gordon, never reached any great heights Emus coach Paul Ringland was stoked with the win.
It's one that keeps his side undefeated and well and truly on top of the competition standings. Bathurst Bulldogs also remain unbeaten.
"We'll take any win like that in a derby," Ringland enthused post-game.
"Orange City had talked up their scrum and our guys really took that as a challenge and were dominant there, everything really came from the back of that.
"It wasn't perfect by any means but we did enough and were pretty dominant across the paddock, so that is really pleasing."
Green opened the scoring just four minutes in, strolling through a gigantic gap. Nigel Staniforth added the extras, one of three he kicked from eight attempts in an awful day for the usually pinpoint kicker, to give Emus a 7-0 lead.
Orange City won possession from the resulting kick off and strung 11 phases together, but couldn't break Emus' wall and was eventually turned over.
It proved a sign of things to come.
The Lions only maintained any real possession twice, scoring both times, but outside that were turned over consistently and somewhat easily at times.
Levi Russell breezed over and then Rob Thorburn crashed his way through too in the early stages, giving Emus a 17-0 buffer.
Lions halfback Tom Nell dived over from a quick tap not long after though and despite Jackson Coote's missed conversion attempt the deficit was cut to 12.
But, just as it looked as though Orange City was fighting its way back into the game, Emus crushed that hope.
Green grabbed his second from a perfect Staniforth cross-field kick then Tom Goolagong dived on a loose ball to score as well, giving Emus a 27-5 lead at half-time.
Both sides battled severe cases of the dropsies in the second period, but Emus still ran in tries to Andrew Selwood and Lachie Harris before Green completed his hat-trick in the 76th minute.
Jackson Coote scored Orange City's second try, capping off some strong phase play midway through the half, just before Russell was sin-binned following a bit of a stink.
Although it was a result many expected to come, there were some positive signs for Orange City.
In the context of the season so far, the Lions provided Emus far tougher opposition than most of the other sides they've encountered.
"I always think you learn more from a loss than a win," Sam Coote said.
"We can definitely take a few things from that, I think we have too. We're a young side, we've not really played much together and we're still learning but Emus were just far too good for us [on Saturday]."
Ringland said, despite the expectation on his side leading in, it wasn't hard to keep his troops grounded.
"Everyone was pretty switched on for it," he said.
"There was a lot of excitement around the game and the Shute Shield being here too, which was just awesome, but there wasn't any issue about the boys getting complacent for this one."
The clash did end on a sour note for Emus though, Simon Badgery was shipped to hospital with what was reportedly a compound fracture in his ankle.
The Lions didn't come through unscathed either, Jake Davis dislocated his knee early in the first half and Keegan Harding left the track with knee trouble in the first period as well.
ORANGE EMUS 46 (Tom Green 3, Rob Thorburn, Levi Russell, Lachie Harris, Andrew Selwood, Tom Goolagong tries; Nigel Staniforth 3 conversions) def ORANGE CITY LIONS 12 (Tom Nell, Jackson Coote tries; Coote conversion)