Emus bracing for a challenge on the road against Platypi

CENTRE OF ATTENTION: Levi Russell is back in the centres for Emus ahead of the second grand final rematch of the 2018 Blowes Clothing Cup season. Photo: PETE GUTHRIE
CENTRE OF ATTENTION: Levi Russell is back in the centres for Emus ahead of the second grand final rematch of the 2018 Blowes Clothing Cup season. Photo: PETE GUTHRIE

For years, Forbes has been a terrifying venue to travel to for rugby. 

Emus co-coach Paul Ringland doesn’t have too many happy memories of easy games in Forbes and is expecting this weekend’s grand final rematch with the Platypi to be no different.

“I don’t think I’ve ever played an easy game in Forbes, they seem to grow an extra leg and give it their all at home,” he said. 

Grinsted Oval hasn’t quite been the fortress of previous years, with just the one Patypi win at home over the struggling Orange City in round two, with a 41-12 loss to the Bulldogs last start and going down 33-27 to Dubbo in round six the other results in Forbes this season. 

However, the top-of-the-table Emus aren’t a shoo-in for the win, with the greens in unfamiliar territory licking their wounds after two losses on the trot.

“I don’t think we’ve done that for a long time,” Ringland said. 

“We haven’t changed too much, just a looking-to-rebuild focus.”

Emus will be bolstered by the return of some key playmakers, with Kyran Bubb back at five-eighth and Tom Goolagong returning as hooker, while Tom Green and Sam Greatbatch will miss the trip to Grinsted Oval with representative duties. 

They’ve also brought Lachlan Harris and Levi Russell back together in the centres, which Ringland is excited about. 

“That’s where they were playing when we were on song earlier in the season so it’s good to get them back together,” he said. 

While players were given the long weekend off, this week the club has discussed how better to deal with officials during the game.

Emus prop Matt Findlay spoke about the side’s need to adapt to rule interpretations on the fly after the greens failed to get the rub of the green in a loss against Cowra.

Ringland echoed that sentiment, and said adapting quickly in games was a focus for Emus in the lead-up to Saturday’s game against Forbes.

“Teams are coming to spoil us and we’ve got a target on our back,” Ringland said.

“So they’ve been coming in with a spoiling style and hopefully the refs pick up on that, because I feel like they haven’t in the past few weeks.”

Orange Emus take on Forbes Platypi on Saturday at Grinsted Oval at 3.15pm.