A big crowd braved the cold and blustery conditions to support the Emus in their Super Saturday hit out. They cheered on a hat-trick of victories which saw A and C Grade progress straight to the 2019 grand finals while B Grade can earn their way through with another win on Saturday.
C Grade got the ball rolling with a tight 33-28 win over Toowoomba Rangers. The Thirsty Thirds were doing it easy under the direction of cool and calm flyhalf, Dan Early. The scoreline blew out to a 33-12 lead, with sniping outside backs, Gus Morris and Tom Sullivan carving up the Rangers' defence. The visitors fought back with a late flurry of tries, but it was all too little too late. B Grade ran on for their do-or-die clash with Warwick who had troubled the Emus in both their previous outings. The home side began well, with solid defence from flanker Trent Hoscher and Angus Elder. The Emus hit half time ahead 8-0 after a try from veteran Terry Gleeson and a penalty from Lachy Waide. In the second half the Emus led 15-0 after another Emu veteran, Andrew Macpherson scored under the posts. Warwick scored late but the Emus held on for a 15-7 win, taking them to next week's preliminary final against Dalby. Coach Ben Leeson praised his troops, especially the efforts of Hoscher, halfback Tom White and centre Lachie Waide.
A Grade faced a confident Roma side but it didn't take long for the Emus to find their stride. After their best half of the season, they hit the orange break with a commanding lead. The Trotting Ducks' forward pack was too strong for the Echidnas, while Sam Jobling and Mikey Jamieson controlled play out wide. Lachie Tulloch impressed with a hatrick in the first half as well as tries to, Sam Jobling and Yoni Meron. In addition Will Gilbert kicked a number of conversions and penalties. The 37-6 scoreline at the break reflected the dominance. Further tries to Nick Smith and Sam Jobling in the second half finished it all off. "We have always had good line speed but when we slip off tackles it has hurt us in the past. Saturday everyone was sticking their tackles which virtually kept Roma out of the game," A Grade Coach Luke Fritz said.
"In the second half we went away from our structure a bit and it showed with frustration and penalties creeping in."