Orange Emus put the Mudgee Wombats to the sword at Endeavour Oval on Saturday afternoon, routing the visitors 79-0.
Five-eighth Mitch Evers crossed thrice in the victory and his side laid on another 13 five-pointers in the dominant, bonus point win – Emus’ 12th from 13 starts.
The greens did leave a handful of points out there too, or rather, skipper and goalkicker Nigel Staniforth did, he didn’t have the greatest of afternoons with the boot, kicking at just 50 per cent.
“We’ve said it before, but we’ll take any win we can get no matter the circumstances,” Emus vice-captain Nick Hughes-Clapp said.
“There’s plenty we can improve on, you have to be able to take something out of every game. We were probably a little bit passive at the breakdown. Mudgee did well to spoil our ball though.
“They did the first time we played them too and we knew they would again, but we didn't adapt quick enough.
“Outside that, we were strong. Set piece was great, we were superb in broken play and we stuck to our structure.”
Hughes-Clapp credited the Wombats too.
“They were tough and physical,” he said.
“They played really good rugby in the opening half and I think it was just fitness that got them in the end.
“They had a few tired boys, they were short of players with the Mudgee Field Days being on and a few guys played more than one grade to make sure they fielded teams, which is big effort.”
The half-time scorelines backs up Hughes-Clapp’s sentiments.
Although Emus were clearly the classier of the two sides the greens only led 29-0 at the break, piling on another 50 in the second half as the Wombats ran out of gas.
The win was built on a dominant set-piece.
This weekend will be another challenging one for the Wombats when they face second placed Forbes away.
FIRSTS – ORANGE EMUS 79 (Mitch Evers 3, Nas Havealeta 2, AJ Sykes 2, Nigel Staniforth 2, Tom Green, Sam Green, Carter Hirini, Lachie Harris tries; Staniforth 7 conversions) def MUDGEE WOMBATS 0.
SECONDS - ORANGE EMUS 34 def MUDGEE WOMBATS 24.
COLTS - MUDGEE WOMBATS 26 def ORANGE EMUS 12.