Although inconsequential in many ways considering Orange Emus wrapped up the Blowes Clothing Cup minor title weeks ago, there’s still one giant carrot dangling in front of the greens in Saturday’s regular season round.
The chance to go through a regular season undefeated.
Greens coach Paul Ringland said he can’t remember the last time an Emus side achieved that feat and although it’s not something the side’s talked about much, he admitted it would be nice little box to tick.
“I’m not sure if any of the sides in that purple patch (from 1999-2002) did it, but even if they did it’s been a long time,” Ringland said.
“I wouldn’t say it was a goal we set, but it would definitely be a big achievement and a nice thing to have under our belts rolling into the finals.”
Bathurst Bulldogs are the one – pretty sizable – obstacle standing in Emus’ way, and while there’s not much else for the greens to play for there’s plenty on the line for the blue and gold hoops.
“If Dubbo Roos stumble and Bulldogs can beat us they can still slip into third, so they have plenty to play for,” Ringland said.
“We’ve had a few more injuries and a couple more changes so I’m sure they see this as a good chance and they’re always a dangerous side.”
Emus prop Michael Graham and skipper Nigel Staniforth will both sit out after suffering injuries last week, while Jack Marchinton, Sam Green, Al Hattersley and Carter Hirini are all still sidelined too.
“We’re not too worried about any new combinations struggling for cohesion, that’s one benefit of us running with a first grade squad system, we’re always confident in the guys who come into the side,” Ringland said.
Emus host Bulldogs from 3.15pm on Saturday, at Endeavour Oval.
- ORANGE EMUS: 1 Matt Findlay, 2 Tom Goolagong, 3 Nas Havealeta, 4 Nick Hughes-Clapp ©, 5 Sam McLean, 6 Scott McLean, 7 Andrew Selwood, 8 Rob Thorburn, 9 TJ Cunynghame, 10 Mitch Evers, 11 Tom Green, 12 Lachie Harris, 13 Levi Russell, 14 James Simmons, 15 AJ Sykes