First-up, this Orange Emus side is one to take VERY seriously, again, in 2019.
The greens have played in every grand final since 2014, and managed to be consistent enough to ensure every grand final day since 2015 has been on home soil too.
Throw in premierships in 2015, 2016 and 2018 and there's just no doubting it - this decade firmly belongs to Emus Rugby Club.
So ahead of 2019, can any side usurp this green machine? Which team? And more importantly, how?
There has to be more than one way to skin a cat - or in this case, pluck an Emu - right?
There absolutely is ... so in the 2019 Blowes Clothing Cup season preview, it's complete with each side's 'how to beat the Emus'.
COACH: Dean Oxley
LAST YEAR: Runners-up
PREDICTED FINISH: Third.
FIRST ROUND: Dubbo Roos (away), Orange City (home), Forbes (away), Orange Emus (home), Cowra (away).
HOW TO BEAT EMUS: Here's a tip for the Dogs: Stop saying you have to beat Emus to win the premiership. Stop talking about it.
It's like saying you need to drive through Lucknow to get to Orange - it's a given.
The Dogs' youth is their strength and that exuberance was enough to lift them into a grand final last winter, but the constant Emus chat brought them undone. Mentally, they weren't up to it in the semi-finals or in the big dance.
Forget about the greens, and focus on the Dogs - that's the key for Oxley's young side.
That, and playing straighter with ball in hand. The Bathurst boys loved a sideways shift in 2018 and it wasn't effective in the big games, and on grand final day they constantly gifted Emus possession by kicking it back to them, which just served to give the best attacking side in the competition the lions' share of possession.
COACH: Viv Passi.
LAST YEAR: Sixth
PREDICTED FINISH: Sixth.
FIRST ROUND: Cowra (home), Bathurst (away), Dubbo (away), Forbes (home), Orange Emus (away).
HOW TO BEAT EMUS: Successful City sides of the past have been attacking wonders - think Sione Lafa'ou and the Lions sides of 2012-2013. Unstoppable. Brilliant to watch.
But 2019 is the first year in this decade Steve Hamson hasn't been at the helm.
Former Lion Viv Passi takes the coaching reins and given his size and reputation as a hard-nosed pack leader, you'd expect the Lions to be physically up for any challenge thrown their way this winter.
They'll have to be, too.
Emus' pack is the cornerstone of the club's success to date and matching, and then overpowering, the greens at the set piece is the first step to getting one over the cup champions. The Lions' tight five must aim up in 2019.
COACH: Col Jeffs, Col Kilby and Rohan McKay.
LAST YEAR: Third.
PREDICTED FINISH: Premiers.
FIRST ROUND: Orange City (away), Forbes (home), Orange Emus (home), Dubbo Roos (away), Bathurst (home).
HOW TO BEAT EMUS: At the back end of last year the Eagles soared. If running rugby was a song, it was Swing Low and the Cowra rugby club was UB40 ... they were in tune, in unison, granted a little raucous after a few reds on the balcony, but it was all glorious.
The Eagles, though, well they fell short, again, and that elusive grand final appearance evaded the club in 2018.
I'm confident they can get there in 2019, though, and they'll do so by keeping the ball in play. Running the footy. Let it sing!
Keeping the ball in play will both play to Cowra's strengths - that 46-33 win over the Platypi at Forbes last year was as good as the Eagles have played in years - and remove one of Emus, a team that can strangle the life out of you at the set piece.
Up the Red Men.
COACH: Simon Petelo.
LAST YEAR: Fifth.
PREDICTED FINISH: Fourth.
FIRST ROUND: Bathurst (home), Orange Emus (away), Orange City (home), Cowra (home), Forbes (away).
HOW TO BEAT EMUS: Stay healthy - that's be a very decent start for the Dubbo club.
The Roos' roster is undoubtedly one capable of matching it with the best in the top flight, there's a great mix of experience and youth in blue and red, but last year injury cruelled all of that, ruptured ACL's seemingly more prevalent than wins.
This winter has to be different, doesn't it?
If Mark Baldwin is fit and can play a large chunk of the season then the Dubbo first XV will beat any side they play at the breakdown, and winning more than their fair share of the ball throughout the course of 80 minutes will give new coach Petelo a huge chance of knocking off Emus in '19.
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COACH: Jarrod Hall, Jack Hammond.
LAST YEAR: Fourth.
PREDICTED FINISH: Fifth.
FIRST ROUND: Orange Emus (home), Cowra (away), Bathurst (home), Orange City (away), Dubbo Roos (home).
HOW TO BEAT EMUS: Brush aside the premiership hangover that absolutely butchered the club in 2018 and give us more Mahe Fangupo.
It's really that simple for the Platypi.
New co-coaches Hall and Hammond were both part of the 2017 premiership winning side and would surely have marveled in Fangupo's brilliance that day. He's the maestro. Find a way to get him as many touches as possible.
Let the mercurial halfback call the shots - all of them - and he's sure to give the greens plenty more headaches in 2019.
COACH: Pete Bromley
LAST YEAR: Premiers.
PREDICTED FINISH: Runners-up.
FIRST ROUND: Forbes (away), Dubbo Roos (home), Cowra (away), Bathurst (away), Orange City (home).
HOW TO WIN IT ALL AGAIN: Ease in to it.
The Blowes Clothing Cup is a Melbourne Cup, not The Everest, and as such there's no point going like the clappers from round one, particularly given the amount of rugby this team has played over the years.
Every team will be gunning for Emus, that's a given, but that has been the case for the last five years so the group will be up for that challenge.
The key for new coach Bromley is ensuring the defending champions time their run right - if they can finish top two then there's absolutely no reason why another crown won't land at Endeavour Oval in 2019.
2019 PREDICTED LADDERS
BLOWES CLOTHING CUP
1 Cowra, 2 Orange Emus, 3 Bathurst Bulldogs, 4 Dubbo Roos, 5 Forbes Platypi, 6 Orange City
NEW HOLLAND AGRICULTURE CUP
1 Narromine, 2 Mudgee, 3 Dubbo Rhinos, 4 Blayney, 5 Parkes, 6 CSU Bathurst
WESTFUND FERGUSON CUP
1 Bathurst Bulldogs, 2 Orange Emus, 3 CSU Bathurst, 4 West Wyalong Redbacks, 5 Mudgee Wombats, 6 Cowra/Canowindra, 7 Narromine Gorillas, 8 Orange City Lions, 9 Temora Tuskers, 10 Cootmundra Tri-Colours, 11 Dubbo Rhinos, 12 Dubbo Kangaroos, 13 Wellington Redbacks, 14 Forbes Platypi, 15 Harden She Devils
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