Following Orange Emus' comfortable Blowes Clothing Cup local derby victory at Wade Park on Saturday night greens' second-rower Nick Hughes-Clapp and Orange City halfback Tom Nell, incredibly, gave almost identical summaries of their respective sides' performances.
Excellent in patches, equally as ordinary in others.
The greens ran away with the clash in the second period after leading 19-14 at the half-time break, somewhat clicking the final 40 minutes to pile on another four tries to one and eventually secure a bonus-point, 45-21 win.
"The second half and particularly the last 20 minutes were a lot better than our first-half effort, or our effort in the last 30 minutes of the first half anyway," Hughes-Clapp said, his side whipping out to a 12-nil lead early before the Lions roared back into the contest.
We fixed it up in the second half, played some direct footy and put them away to an extent.Emus second-rower Nick Hughes-Clapp
"We scored a couple of quick ones and they fought back. There was a bit of chat around us maybe switching off but I don't necessarily agree with that, I actually we think we got a bit excited and tried too hard to score more points, which led to errors and some ordinary patches.
"But we fixed it up in the second half, played some direct footy and put them away to an extent."
"It's funny, we pretty said the same thing after the game," Nell added.
"There was times through that game where I thought we were really good and then we'd drop off, or just fall back into some bad habits and Emus would take advantage.
"It was a tough contest and both sides had their ups and downs, but we've sort of done that all season, not been able to put together a really complete performance."
The first 10 minutes of the clash, played in front of whopping Wade Park crowd following Eastern Suburbs' Intrust Super Shute Shield loss to Gordon, were all Emus.
The defending premiers scored through Lachie Harris and quickly crossed again when Tom Green found space on the left edge, and at that point you'd have been forgiven for thinking the round eight encounter may well end up a bloodbath.
But errors crept in to Emus' game as they tried, as Hughes-Clapp said too hard, to let the ball sing and take full advantage of their lead.
Instead Orange City took advantage of those handling errors and while Emus did score once more in the first half through hooker Charlie Henley, although they went into the break trailing 19-14 the Lions probably had more momentum after Cam Cole and Harry Taberner both crossed to cut into the margin.
But after a stern talking to from coach Pete Bromley the greens fired in the second period, completely outclassing their younger, less-experienced Lions counterparts.
On the back of a dominant scrum Emus ran in four more tries, Hughes-Clapp picking up two while Scott McLean and Henley both crossed. Alex McNiven did manage a five-pointer for Orange City, but it was little more than a consolation.
"The message at half-time was basically 'pull your fingers out and put them away like you know you can," Hughes-Clapp, who pushed through what looked to be a shoulder dislocation late in the second half, said.
"We did that to an extent but as a whole it was still too patchy for our liking. But it certainly makes up for the draw we had with City the first time around, we weren't pleased with that result and we wanted to get on back on them [on Saturday night].
"From that aspect it's pleasing, but we can still get a lot better."
With Cowra being hammered 52-12 by undefeated competition leaders Bathurst Bulldogs Emus now jump up to second, while Orange City remain on the bottom of the table in search of their first win for the season.
- ORANGE EMUS 45 (Nick Hughes-Clapp 2, Charlie Henley 2, Lachie Harris, Tom Green, Scott McLean tries; Nigel Staniforth 5 conversions) def ORANGE CITY LIONS 21 (Cam Cole, Alex McNiven, Harry Taberner tries; Keegan Harding 3 conversions)
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