While Orange Emus are sweating on Nigel Staniforth's fitness ahead of the Blowes Clothing Cup preliminary final, Cowra will nervously await word from the Central West Rugby Union judiciary after Chris Miller was sent-off in Sunday's minor semi-final.
The inspirational, former NSW Country Cockatoo was typically strong in the Eagles' ruthless 37-13 win over the now-eliminated Forbes, but was shown red in the 78th minute as the clash threatened to boil over, as was Platypi halfback Mahe Fangupo.
Because it was a straight red card Miller is expected to front the judiciary this week, but even so, his send-off didn't take too much gloss off the Reddies booking their ticket to Endeavour Oval this weekend.
In a rematch of last year's minor semi-final, which Cowra also won, the Eagles ran in four-tries-to-two
I still rate them as the top side. They're experienced right across the park, and they've been there, they're big game players.Cowra coach Col Jeffs, on preliminary final rivals Emus
It remains to be confirmed if he'll be forced to front the judiciary this week and while the Eagles will be keeping their fingers crossed, Miller being given his marching orders didn't take too much gloss the Reddies booking their ticket to Endeavour Oval on Saturday.
In a repeat of last year's minor semi-final result the Eagles rolled in four-tries-to-one to move into their second consecutive preliminary final, in which they'll look to go one step further after being bowing at this stage last season.
"Out motto for [Sunday] was 'be ruthless'," Cowra coach Col Jeffs said after the win, which was also the perfect way to celebrate Jeremy Montgomery's 200th top grade appearance.
"In the past... when physicality's come into games, we sort of haven't been on that front foot, we've just absorbed it.
"Collectively as a group... when the physicality comes on, we're actually adapting and taking it back to the opposition... that's what we need to do."
That side appears to have developed that ruthless streak at the right time, because Jeffs said the group is under no illusions ahead of Saturday's road trip, and will have to find another gear to beat an Emus outfit smarting from being stripped of grand final hosting rights for the first time since 2014.
"We will need to improve to get the result," Jeffs said, bluntly.
"I still rate them as the top side. They're experienced right across the park, and they've been there, they're big game players. They'll treat next Saturday as a grand final with us."
Although Forbes took an early 6-nil lead after a pair of Angus King penalty goals, Cowra dominated the clash after that, capitalising on the Platypi's errors throughout.
Viliuesa Koilagi scored a double for the Eagles while Damian Michael and Elliot Brice also crossed with Garrizo Gonzalo nailing two conversions and a pair of penalty goals, while Jarrod Hall's 57th minute five-pointer was Forbes' lone try.
Forbes captain-coach Jack Hammond was diplomatic after the game, while disappointed he conceded his side was simply outclassed.
"Cowra well and truly deserved it, they were the better side right from the kick-off," Hammond said.
"From one to 15 they showed their strength, and they showed they played as a team. Today, we just didn't follow our patterns and our structures and it really showed.
"I think early on we didn't have much of the ball, we were defending a lot and we missed a lot of one-on-one tackles. I think that showed us either our confidence or our timing just wasn't there.
"I think it's just a flow-on effect from there, so that when we did have the ball we were a bit slow, a bit sluggish and didn't really have that zip that we needed."
Nevertheless, given their late season run of form to get to the finals in the first place, Hammond was proud of his group, even if their efforts didn't translate on the field today.
"To be where we are now from where we were in the middle of the season or the comp is a massive effort for the boys," Hammond said.
"We can definitely take that into next year, to say, 'look what we can do when we turn around. If we start well, we can really mix it with the big clubs'."
- COWRA EAGLES 37 (Viliuesa Koilagi 2, Damian Michael, Elliot Brice tries; Garrizo Gonzalo 2 conversions; Gonzalo 2 penalty goals) def FORBES PLATYPI 13 (Jarrod Hall try; Angus King conversion; King 2 penalty goals)
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