CHARGED UP: Another edition of the Emerald rugby league derby is poised to be a cracking encounter.
CHARGED UP: Another edition of the Emerald rugby league derby is poised to be a cracking encounter. Rhiannon Finger

Emerald's local Origin

BRAGGING rights in Emerald are up for grabs Saturday night, May 25, when the Emerald Tigers play the Emerald Brothers in another edition of Emerald's rugby league derby.

Former Emerald Tigers president and current Men's grade player Jay Edwards said that the derby encounter was always special to the players on both sides.

"There's always a bit of feeling in it, it's like our local origin,” Mr Edwards said.

"It doesn't matter whose playing in the sides, everyone knows what we are playing for.

"It's something dear to both teams. It's the one game of the year you take time off for.”

Large crowds have turned up to previous derby encounters providing an electric atmosphere for supporters and players alike.

"It helps with the crowd,” Mr Edwards said.

"We always get a massive crowd. Everybody's noisy and things get fiery. When you run out, hear the crowd go off, you get those hairs on the back of the neck stand up.”

The Tigers bring a near full strength side which features the likes of Central Crows representative Ray Ebsworth.

"We've only got one of our key forwards out, Meirana Parata,” Mr Edwards said.

"He'll be out for the season, he's done his knee.”

Brothers went down by eight to Bluff last round, while the Tigers got up 50-18 over Blackwater.

For Brothers, last round's loss is a speed bump in an already strong start to the season.

"They're pretty good at the moment, (they) have won three out of four to start the season,” Mr Edwards said.

"They've got a young, enthusiastic team that's very fit and it's hard to beat enthusiasm.

"They've got a young forward pack that doesn't have too much fear and are happy to run hard all day.”

The Tigers have suffered an undermanned loss to Bluff and victory over Springsure as well this year.

Heading into this clash, Edwards has already identified some of the potential difference makers his side needs to shut down on game day.

"Jason King, he can get around the park pretty quickly,” Mr Edwards said.

"Kerryn Brice, he brings experience and is a cool customer under pressure.

"There's a lot of up-and-comers in that team.

"In games like this you lean towards experience, because in the end, experience gets you home.”

Edwards was aware that he and the Tigers had their work cut out to get the better of Brothers.

"We've gotta get on top of them early and stay on top,” Mr Edwards said.

"We've got a lot of improvement in us and we need to lift for this game this weekend.”

Kick off for the Men's grade is 7pm from McIndoe Park, Emerald.


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