Gordon takes out round one of Shute Shield

Coach Julian Huxley with Liam Winton, who returns to the fold in 2017, at the Emus' launch night at Penrith City Council.
Coach Julian Huxley with Liam Winton, who returns to the fold in 2017, at the Emus' launch night at Penrith City Council.

Penrith Emus Rugby Club debuted some pleasing new combinations despite a loss to Gordon Highlanders in the first round of the 2017 Shute Shield.

The home side spirits were high after a successful season launch at Penrith City Council last week under new head coach, ex-Wallaby Julian Huxley, and support from the community saw a good atmosphere at Nepean Park for Saturday’s match.

However, a combination of bad weather – resulting in limited trials – and Gordon’s recently rebuilt stocks saw the Emus down 28 to 12 at halftime, with the Highlanders stretching the lead to 66-24 at full time.

Emus president Jeff Fox said the side had shown some promising work despite the result.

“I was quite pleased with what I saw,” he said. “There were some new combinations, and some boys premiered from the Colts. We put four tries on them, that’s a pretty good effort. It’s a bit disappointing the game blew out a bit towards the end.

“We were really happy with the day, we had lots of support from the community and old members. There was a really excellent atmosphere up there.”

It was a different story for the club’s under 18s side, who stormed home in a thumping 74-nil victory over Parramatta in a competition that will eventually provide the pick of the NSW 18s squad.

“They prepared all summer, took it very seriously and they smashed it,” Mr Fox said. 

April 8 will see the Emus play Eastwood at home in the Shute Shield. Spectators are welcome.