Toss of the coin: Emus, Bulldogs on level pegging in sudden-death colts showdown

WE MEET AGAIN: Emus hooker Reece Bell charges forward against Bulldogs earlier in the year. The two outfits face-off again in Sunday's minor semi-final. Photo: DON MOOR
WE MEET AGAIN: Emus hooker Reece Bell charges forward against Bulldogs earlier in the year. The two outfits face-off again in Sunday's minor semi-final. Photo: DON MOOR

Five wins, three losses and a draw.

That’s the record both Orange Emus and Bathurst Bulldogs boast heading into Sunday’s Blowes Clothing Cup colts minor semi-final at Cowra, and although the greens have overall bragging rights the two sides are very much on level pegging.

That’s the word of Emus coach Simon Thompson anyway.

“I think it’s a toss of the coin as to which side would be front-runners, or has runs on the board,” he said.

“We might have won two of the three games but Bulldogs were very strong in the most recent one, and they won that game so we’re definitely on level pegging. Actually I think it’ll be a cracking game because of that.

“We do take confidence from those wins though, they were big in the context of our season and actually our club in general.”

Thompson’s not wrong, the magnitude of those victories – in round two and round seven – can’t be underestimated, the former was the first win Emus scored over Bathurst since 2009, the last year the greens won the colts title.

Since then Bulldogs have gone on to dominate the colts division, winning the last three titles, although the Bathurst side finds itself in the unfamiliar position of sudden-death rugby this season.

“We’ve been among the top two favourites for the last couple of years but we’re in a different position this year. Dubbo are probably up there as favourites but any of the four teams can win it on their day,” Bulldogs coach Jordan Bull said, paying the greens respect in turn.

“They’re a tough, physical side. The boys have to be on their game. It’s probably going to be one of those games that comes down to the last few minutes.”

Emus’ form and numbers have been sporadic in this year’s four-team competition, but Thompson confirmed the greens will be at full-strength this weekend.

“Yep, everyone’s on deck, and we won’t be changing our approach at all,” Thompson said.

“These guys like to throw the ball around and play exciting footy, so we’re just going to give them that freedom.

“We’ve started a lot of our games slowly so we’ll look to work on that, but we’ve always come home pretty strong and we’ve actually scored a lot of our points in the second half, when that loose brand of rugby pays off.”

Sunday’s minor semi-final kicks off at 12.20pm, at Cowra Rugby Ground.

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