The Emus hit the road on Saturday for their season opener against USQ. Three grades made the trip to Toowoomba which would prove to be a successful day for the Trotting ducks.
C grade got the club off to a flier with a rather convincing win over the students. Some bone rattling defence and strong ball running from back rower Trent Murray got the Emus on the front foot early. Fellow forwards Jardy Dillon and Nick Nolan helped set the platform for a rampant backline. Co-Coach and outside centre, Scott Bell, repeatedly made metres out wide, and was well backed up by Jed Gollan and James “the Rohdesian Ridgeback” Rohde. With a firm lead the game was then well controlled by Emus flyhalf Scott Richards. The Emus ran out winners by 34-7.
Captain and Co-Coach Doug McDougall was thrilled with the boys, noting “We stuck with our game plan which was to lead with strong defence”. “Another text book Emus C Grade side, with the right mix of youth and has beens...”
B grade competed in more of an Arm wrestle clinching a 20-12 win. The Emus constantly battered Uni’s try line with waves of attack. However some poor execution let them down, not always converting pressure into points. Young halfback Lachie Hunt provided smooth service from the breakdown all afternoon and proved to be one of the Emus best. Jim Scanlan steered the team around the park and linked up nicely with speedy outside backs, Sean Cairns, Sam Bursle and new comer, Josh Onus. Stand in Coach for the weekend, Brett Corish said “The boys were a little rusty but I’m proud of how they ground out the win”
Regular Coach Ben Leeson was off getting married. We wish Ben and his wife Tiddles all the best for a long prosperous life together!
A grade hit the ground running and couldn’t have asked for too much more in their opening hit out. It didn’t take long for the Emus to get on the board with some slick ball running from fullback George Stacey. The students had trouble keeping possession of the ball, with Number 8 Levi Power constantly pilfering uni ball at the breakdown. A quick turnover led to the ball being spread to winger Tom Jobling, crossing for the Emus second try. After a long barrage on Gundy’s line, Uni crossed to score what would be their only points. Moments after Harry Hawker then toed through some loose ball winning a foot race to score again for the ducks, taking the Emus into half time with a 21-7 lead. After the break the Gundy lads piled on more tries to Will Gilbert, Joe Gilbert and again to Harry Hawker and George Stacey. New A grade Coach Luke Fritz praised his side stating “I was very pleased to see all the boys put to use what we have been working hard on all off season. It’s hard to get a gauge on where we are at so early in the season, especially with Uni missing some key players through injury, but my initial thoughts are positive.”
The end of the game saw Levi Power, Lachie Tulloch and Mikey Jamieson rewarded players of the match.
The Emus next hit out will be at Riddles oval on April 14th against Condamine in A and B grade and Chinchilla in C grade. It promises to be an action packed afternoon of rugby on the banks of the MacIntyre.