IF St Pat's Blue were looking to make a statement about their under 15s Group 10 Junior Rugby League premiership credentials, then it was most certainly mission accomplished on Saturday afternoon.
The Saints ran in eight tries in a brilliant all-round team performance at Tony Luchetti Sportsground to beat Orange CYMS 42-4 in their qualifying semi-final.
Though CYMS' cause wasn't helped by playing 20 minutes of that contest a man short with two players sinbinned for second-effort tackles at different periods, the Saints were simply too good.
It was a performance which came off the back of plenty of hard work at training under the guidance of coach Chris Osborne and manager Dave Elvy - two men with a host of finals football experience.
"They threw the ball around well today, we scored some really good tries. Their skill level has really picked up this year," Osborne said.
"We work a lot on our skills and the boys were really enthusiastic. We defended well too I thought, everyone had a dig today.
"They thought there was another step and they'd be playing for a spot in the grand final next, but who knows now?"
As Osborne indicated, there is doubt over the remainder of the Group 10 JRL finals series after regional New South Wales went into lockdown on Saturday evening.
But if the Saints do get the chance to play again, their performance against CYMS indicates they will be very hard to beat.
The game was just four minutes old when the Saints scored their opener, Wyatt Loughlin going over in the left corner.
By quarter-time the Saints' lead had grown to 14-0 as five-eighth Dave Elvy and winger Seb Klein also got on the board, the backs benefitting from strong work from their forward pack.
Amongst those Saints forwards who enjoyed line breaks and frequently got away an offload off the back of a big charge was Lleyton Lovett.
He helped set up a fourth try before half-time with a good carry, the set finishing with lock Regan Stait winning the race to ground an in-goal grubber.
That try made it 20-0 and while CYMS were able to open their account nine minutes into the second half, it was only a brief reprieve from the constant Saints pressure.
Some nice ball movement helped the blue and whites respond three minutes later, creating an overlap on the left edge which fullback Angus Cafe capitalised on.
In the final quarter as CYMS found themselves reduced to 12 players, the Saints blew the score line out.
Lovett was rewarded for his strong game as he crossed after his side was piggy-backed down field by penalties.
Stait, who produced one of his best performances of the season, made it a double for the game before second-rower Riley Hancock iced the victory.
It's now a case of crossing fingers, the Saints hoping they get a chance to meet Mudgee in a major semi-final.
ST PAT'S BLUE 42 (Regan Stait 2, Wyatt Loughlin, David Elvy, Seb Klein, Angus Cafe, Lleyton Lovett, Riley Hancock tries; Mach Hutchings 3, David Elvy 2 tries) defeated ORANGE CYMS 4 (J Gorham try)
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