Duroux Shield: Emerald rivals lock horns this weekend
RUGBY LEAGUE: There is nothing like a local derby to kick-start a season into life.
For Central Queensland mining town Emerald, whenever arch-rivals Tigers and Cowboys lock horns it is one to pencil into the calendar.
Added to this glorious fixture is the honour of playing off for the prized Duroux Shield, after the late great Charlie Duroux.
Charlie played for Emerald in the Rockhampton leagues but passed away from cancer and the Emerald club split in two.
Year on year, it is the Central Highlands competition's most jam-packed showdown.
Current holders Emerald Tigers have the bragging rights, bolstered further as the reigning premiers and are out to inflict more pain on the boys in blue and gold.
For captain and 10-year veteran Kyle Mattingley, this type of clash has him licking his lips.
"The crowds tend to be massive, always one of the biggest crowds McIndoe Park sees," Mattingley said.
"Being a local rivalry and the first derby of the year, it is always special."
Historically Tigers have shared in the majority of the spoils with 16, double their rivals on eight.
Last 5 results
- 2012- Cowboys 42-18
- 2013- Cowboys 38-28
- 2014- Tigers 24-18
- 2015- Cowboys 38-22
- 2016- Tigers 50-28
Despite that and their contrasting positions on the table, Mattingley says form is no judge.
"We have had a bit of a rough start to the year, lost some important players," the house mover said.
"But we are going well. the young ones are coming through nicely.
"It will just be a good hard game like always, the ladder doesn't matter in the slightest.
"Both teams enjoy playing in front of a big crowd, it should be a great game."
1. Clermont Bears
2. Middlemount Panthers
3. Emerald Tigers
4. Springsure Mountain Men
5. Blackwater Crushers
6. Bluff Rabbitohs
7. Emerald Cowboys
8. Dysart Bulls
To sum up what this game means for both sides, Cowboys president James Belford will go directly to night shift straight from McIndoe Park.
"Being the only two teams in town, you want the bragging rights bad," Belford said.
"They're holding the shield, so it makes us hungrier. But we would be hungry any ways, the ladder position goes out the window.
"We are coming off two draws against some good sides so we are in a good spot despite re-building.
"Knowing how the Duroux usually plays out, it will be a forwards game. The whole squad really gets up and rallies around one another for this game.
"I had to ask work to get it off. I am coming off night shift and will go to work straight after."
The highly anticipated match up kicks off at 7pm with the ladies playing off for the Polly Pratt Plate.