The annual Toowoomba Rugby League All Stars match did not leave supporters disappointed with the South West Emus coming from behind to defeat the TRL All Stars 22-14.
After an amazing game last year, the anticipation for the 2019 fixture held on Saturday night was high with a large crowd packing into Clive Berghofer Stadium.
The game started where it left off last season with a fierce contest that was not for the faint-hearted.
The All Stars got out to an early 10-0 lead thanks to tries by Steve Franciscus and Sean Hamel and with the game being played at a frightening pace, the Emus were their own worst enemy in the first half with poor ball control.
The All Stars had most of the ball and controlled the game, but when the Emus finally started to complete their sets, captain Nathan Gaulton scored to give the indigenous side hope at the break.
It was not until the 62nd minute before the next points were scored, courtesy of Aaron Robinson who juggled the ball near the posts before planting the ball down to lock it up.
The game was poised at 10-10 for the next 18 minutes.
Enter David and Corey McGrady; the two cousins who turned the game on its head and controlled the latter part of the game.
Dylan Chown scored to give the Emus the lead at 16-10 and then some Corey McGrady magic saw a clever kick placed for David McGrady to swoop and put the game beyond doubt.
Billy Jackwitz scored a late consolation try for the TRL All Stars, but it just wasn’t their night as the Emus ran home 22-14 winners at fulltime.
Alongside the two halves, Robinson, Gaulton and Reggie Munn were the Emus’ best; whilst Haydan Lipp, Ben Sullivan and the evergreen Steve Franciscus played well for the All Stars outfit.
Lipp, in particular, kicked two crucial 40 / 20’s to stop the Emus’ ascendancy and keep the All Stars in the match.
In the preceding matches, the Under 16 clash was claimed by the All Stars 28-14, the Emus recorded a big 46-4 win over the Mustangs in the Under 18s and also lifted the trophy in the Women’s match against the Fillies.
The concept has been an outstanding success for the Toowoomba Rugby League in the past three years and is now firmly placed on the pre-season calendar.
SOUTH WEST QUEENSLAND EMUS 22 (Nathan Gaulton, Dylan Chown, Aaron Robinson, David McGrady tries; David McGrady 3 goals) defeated TRL ALL STARS 14 (Sean Hamel, Steve Franciscus, Billy Jackwitz tries; Hayden Lipp goal)
PLAYER OF THE MATCH: David McGrady (SEQ Emus)