There wasn't much separating the Orange Emus and the Forbes Platypi during the Central West Junior Rugby Union under 13s preliminary final on Saturday.
The two teams kept a sizable crowd at the Apex Oval held rapt during their curtain-raising clash before the Country Eagles and Sydney sides met for their National Rugby Championships first round bout.
Paul Ringland's Emus side had to endure an early scare, with the Forbes Platypi juniors up 10 - 0 fifteen minutes in and offering no signs of slowing down.
You have to take those opportunities in these big knock-out games, they're really won on moments and we were just able to seize a few more of them today.Emus coach Paul Ringland
Ringland's forward pack put the Platypi on their heels; wrestling back control of the game, and the possession in the first half, to take a 14 - 10 lead at half-time.
"I think the possession was mostly even in that first half, we were just able to make the most of some of those opportunities, you just got to make the most out of those opportunities when they present themselves," Ringland said.
"You have to take those opportunities in these big knock-out games, they're really won on moments and we were just able to seize a few more of them today."
From there, the momentum seemed with the Orange side, extending their new lead to 19 points before the Platypi muscled their way across to make it 19 - 17 a moment later.
The Emu's struck again through their forward pack mid-way through the second half, hoping to have put the matter to bed at 24 - 17, but Forbes' drew the Emu's line out and scored in the corner, making it anyone's game with ten minutes to go.
The Emus were the victors, however, fending off a desperate Forbes counter-attack and holding the score to 26 - 22 at full time.
The result gives the Emus a much wanted rematch against Orange City, something that Ringland is confident his side can prevail in despite a losing record against the other Orange side throughout the season.
"Yeah, they've beaten us twice, it's going to be tough, they're definitely the favourites for a reason," he said.
"But I just think if we put our best foot forward, we're definitely a chance of getting the win."
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