A season of misery and heartache will finally come to an end this Saturday afternoon when the Penrith Emus take on Gordon.
The match at Nepean Rugby Park will be the final game of the season for the battling Emus, who will no doubt want to end the year on a high after enduring such a drama-filled few months.
“We’re going into this last game against Gordon optimistic and hopefully the boys can give it their all,” Emus coach Sateki Tu’ipulotu said.
While the last game of the year for the competition’s last placed team won’t matter to many rugby supporters, it will matter to coach Tu’ipulotu, who will use the game as a final audition for players to prove their worth for next season.
“I’ve been watching the boys all year and have a good gauge of who’s who and what’s what and who I need and what I don’t need,” he said.
“You want to keep the players who are quality and play at a high level, and this game will give me a good look at who we want back next year.”
Last Saturday the struggling Emus backed up their 34-all draw with Parramatta the previous week with a 76-10 thrashing at the hands of Southern Districts.
Tu’ipulotu said he was pleased with his side’s performance and attitude in the first half but was disappointed it fell away not long into the second.
“Some of the boys’ commitment in the first half was great but as soon as the second half began, the whole team let themselves down,” he said.
“It was just very disappointing because we were still in the game at half-time but the players probably leaked 40 points in the second, which wasn’t good.”
Kick-off between the Emus and Gordon is at 3pm this Saturday, July 25.
– Nathan Taylor