Saturday night’s clash between the South West Emus and the TRL All Stars is shaping up as an absolute beauty of a clash. The match ups are worth the entry fee alone.
The halves are shaping up as a clash of unknown combinations. Englishman Jordan Gale (Wattles) comes into the All Star side to partner premiership-winning half James Dempsey (Pittsworth).
Gale played a game for Super League club Bradford and comes from Championship side Hunslet, so look for him. He is a big half, but Dempsey’s high mid-field kicks will add a mix to the All Star tem.
Emus halves Blake Appo and Joshua Robinson will be up against it, but they will not lack enthusiasm. Highfields’s Appo especially oozes talent and big time beckons.
South West Emus seem to have the edge out wide with Corey Blades, Aaron Hooper and Charlie Adams.
They won’t have everything their own way though, as premiership-winning fullback and Pittsworth 2016 player of the year Jeff Weber, along with wingers Alex Ambia and Billy Jackwitz will be champing at the bit to show their form.
Jackwitz in particular should be raring to go after having a good crack at the big league through Ipswich Jets.
Blades, will not need any more motivation to perform as he will be representing his culture.
Experienced All Star centres Steve Franciscus and Goondiwindi’s Ronnie David will be tested against in-form Emu players Michael Cochrane (Brothers) and St George’s Jeremy Munro. The clash between Cochrane and Franciscus may just determine the result.
The Emus will need to overcome the talented All Star forward pack first before that let their swift backline take control.
The All Star pack is impressive, especially seeing players like Daniel York and Daniel Holmes playing in the same side. Throw in Highfields’s Jayden Motley and Jason Wardrop, who has come over from the Sunshine Coast, you have a pretty impressive pack.
Let’s not discount the Emu’s pack. Marc MacGrady and Pittsworth’s Brayden Gibbs are the “go-to” players for them with the Waters and Thorley’s boys from Souths needing to be on their game to challenge their tough opponents. Coffs Harbour Player of the Year Wayne Weribone suits up at hooker and will be wanting to impress his Emu team-mates.
Emu young Wally Pegler will be interesting to watch as he makes the big step up to this game from Under 18s last season. Watch for him late in the contest.
Another one to watch will be Nathan Gaulton who has played the last few seasons with Ipswich Jets. He will bring Intrust Super Cup experience to the team. He is named in the second row for the Emus.
On paper, the Emus pack look up against it whereas their backline will be backing themselves against the All Stars.
All in all, it is shaping up as a magnificent clash. In fact, it has an inaugural “State of Origin” feel to it with the Emus running on heart against the talented All Stars side.