The Emus just had the one game on Saturday with the A grade side fronting up against St George at Riddles Oval. St George travelled light only bringing 14 players and had to borrow a couple of Emus.
This was still no easy task for the Goondiwindi side who were heavily depleted themselves, with seven players representing the Darling Downs, players injured and other club members having commitments elsewhere on Saturday.
If you turned up to the game on Saturday and grabbed a program and began to read through the side you could have thought you were about to witness a Golden Oldies game, with the likes of Trent Raymond, Jay Shulte, Scott Baker and Oaktree himself James Tweedy all coming out of retirement.
Even the referee the Downs sent out looked like escaped the retirement village looking to blow the whistle. Geoff Makim and Prickle Thorn were over heard saying they were sure the referee was the same one from 1964 and the Emus first match.
The Emus began the game well sticking to a simple game plan and keeping it in tight to assert some dominance through the forwards. They marched up the field in the middle and it was up to David Wild to unleash the speed out wide with Sam Bursle and Sean Cairns.
It was a timely return from injury for Wild, and he was aided outside by Pierce Saunders who was also returning from injury. The Goondiwindi backs were too good for their opponents scoring most of the tries in the 55 – 3 victory. Sam Bursle on one wing picked up a hat trick and the other speed demon on the other wing Sean Cairns picked up a double.
Ben Dillion, also returning from injury, had a good game in the forwards and he was well supported by Hugh Oliver and James “Oakie” Tweedy combing well in defence putting some of the big St George boys on their backs. Levi Power sent a scare through the club late in the game after a powerful run pushing off half the opposition twisting his ankle when they did finally wrestled him to the ground. Fortunately it was only a minor strain and he should be right for next weekend.
It was a good opportunity for the coach to have a look at some different players that have been performing constantly in the lower grades. Matt Beare is a young loose forward who has a big future didn’t look out of place with the big boys, Andrew ‘The Grain Train’ Woods had a small burst with some powerful runs. Some said it reminded them of 1997 with Woods on the wing and Ringer outside of him.
It was a gusty win for the club which has now secured A grade 2nd spot which means they will be hosting the first week of finals a super Saturday on August 20. A and B grade will be playing with C grade having the week off as they have secured top spot on the ladder.