GALLERY: Must-win derby for defending premiers Emus in second grade

RUGBY UNION

DEFENDING Blowes Clothing Cup second grade premiers Orange Emus know if they’re to go back-to-back in 2015, knocking off Orange City on Saturday at Endeavour Oval is a must.

That’s a lot easier said than done.

For the second week in a row, Emus and City will go head-to-head in a lower grade all-Orange derby, with tomorrow’s clash doubling as this season’s second grade qualifying semi-final.

The Lions have had the wood over the greens in 2015, and last weekend got the chocolates in a 24-17 slug-fest, also at Endeavour Oval, to complete a clean sweep of the second grade derbies this winter.

On Saturday, however, Emus are hoping is a little bit different.

“They’ve beaten us both times this season, and during both games we’ve led at different stages and had our chances to win,” Emus coach Mitch Dansey said.

“I think, from their perspective, Orange City have played a lot of tough footy together over the years, and they’ve been able to grind out those wins pretty well. 

“It’s that old Orange City mentality.”

Dansey’s second grade counterpart was predicting a tough time of it come kick-off. 

“I reckon they’ll come out a lot harder than last week,” Anthony Kent said.

“I think they’re a tough team and it’s another derby, it’s a semi-final, I can’t see it being anything other than a really tough game.”

Despite the Lions likely to trot out a stack of injured guns like Josh Maley, Mitch Pearce and, potentially, Mesui Lemoto, Dansey said his side’s main focus was on consistency across the 70 minutes - not defending the premiership.

Not yet anyway.

“We haven’t really spoken much about (defending the premiership),” he admitted.

“A lot changes in an off season, especially in second grade so we’ve got a lot of new faces and a lot of new motivation.”

ORANGE EMUS: 1 Matt Findlay, 2 Drew Bale, 3 Luke Turner, 4 Jack Hart, 5 Keith Howarth, 6 Matt Pearce, 7 Bill Travis, 8 Sam Chamberlain, 9 Matt Clarke, 10 Seb Backhouse, 11 Luke Trott, 12 Dave Mullins, 13 James Simmons, 14 Adam Freeman, 15 Luke Ginns.

ORANGE CITY: 1 Matt Adams, 2 Ben Wilson, 3 Cal Townsend, 4 Keith Lawson, 5 Asa Amone, 6 Joe Alexander, 7 Ben Swadling, 8 Chris Scoins, 9 Anthony Kent, 10 Simon Livingstone, 11 Rowan Cleal, 12 Paul Sligar, 13 Moe Amone, 14 Jim Alexander, 15 Taylor Smith.

This story GALLERY: Must-win derby for defending premiers Emus in second grade first appeared on Central Western Daily.