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.