There are nation rugby league rivalries, after which there’s the dogged tug-of-war for Group 9 supremacy between the Tumut Blues and Gundagai Tigers.
The Group 9 rivalry between these founding golf equipment is over 100 years outdated. Throughout that point, many chapters have been written, with the historical past books regaling epic contests and awe-inspiring moments.
Over time, Tumut has gained eight premierships and Gundagai seven, and since 2015, one in every of these two groups has featured in each Grand Remaining, with the Tigers premiers in 2015, 2018, 2020, and 2022, whereas Tumut broke a decade-long drought to raise the trophy in 2019.
Nonetheless, the Tigers have the wooden over their rivals, with Gundagai defeating Tumut 40-18 within the 2020 decider, whereas in 2022, Gundagai reaffirmed their standing as the perfect group within the competitors, knocking off Younger 34-4 within the decider.
No recreation within the Riverina attracts extra consideration, with each communities getting round their golf equipment.
On Saturday, one other bumper crowd is anticipated to end up at Tumut’s Twickenham Oval for his or her Spherical 13 contest, and will probably be a spectacle of Group 9 Senior and Junior Rugby League, with a mammoth 28 video games to be performed.
Gundagai’s season on the road
Close to enjoying finals and potential top-five finishes, this match will considerably have an effect on if Tumut can declare the Minor Premiership and if Gundagai will function within the post-season.
Prime-of-the-table Tumut can all however assure themselves an all-important second likelihood come finals and put themselves within the prime place to complete on high with a win over Gundagai.
Nonetheless Gundagai aren’t able to roll over, with the fifth-placed Tigers outfit staring down the potential for lacking finals for the primary time in additional than a decade.
After a gradual begin to the season, Gundagai lately moved into the highest 5 following their 28-8 win over Albury in Spherical 11, however after shedding to Temora 22-18 on Sunday, they nonetheless have Albury respiratory down their neck with 4 rounds left of the common season.
Making issues worse for the Black and Gold, Albury have a simple run residence to finals together with back-to-back byes.
In distinction, the Tigers have the Blues in Tumut, an away journey in opposition to the improved Junee Diesels in Spherical 14, and a house recreation in opposition to the Younger Cherrypickers in Spherical 15.
Battle of the forwards
It does not matter the line-ups that Gundagai and Tumut area when these heavyweights conflict because the video games are at all times bodily with each packs are huge, cell, and at all times up for a bash and barge fashion of recreation.
The Blues can be led by the inspirational Jacob Sturt, who has been the most effective gamers within the competitors this season.
The younger lock will get via a mountain of labor, and he’s complemented by Michael Fenn, who can break a recreation broad open along with his bullocking runs and skill to get an offload away.
Tumut stalwart Adam Pearce will get via a mountain of labor on the sting, whereas Jordan Anderson at dummy-half will tally probably the most tackles for his facet.
For Gundagai, a barnstorming Noa Vanisi will lead from the entrance, and he groups up with Joe Bromage to type arguably the perfect front-row partnership in Group 9.
Royce Tout has been Gundagai’s finest participant over the previous two years, and the hard-working lock has stored his facet in matches this season. There isn’t any doubt the Tigers will once more name on their finest participant when push involves shove.
Recreation breakers might be the distinction
With two huge packs able to battle, the distinction between Tumut and Gundagai might be out broad, and it is two very totally different backlines taking the sphere.
Tumut’s assault revolves round brothers Lachlan and Dean Bristow. Lachlan is Tumut’s key, and his potential to discover a weak spot in any line of defense is uncanny, which is why he’s the reigning Weissel Medallist.
Dean is a bit more calculated, and his kicking recreation has been excellent in 2023. He typically orchestrates the left-side assault of Brayden Draber and Malik Aitken, who’ve mixed for 20 tries this season.
Gundagai can be led round by skipper Derek Hay, who has the most effective short-kicking video games within the competitors, and four-time premiership winner Tyron Gorman, who’s fearless in testing the road.
Nonetheless, Gundagai’s not-so-secret attacking weapons are brothers Matthew and Jack Lyons and custodian Tristan Eldridge.
Matthew Lyons confirmed time and time once more to be the most effective attacking weapons in nation Rugby League, whereas Jack is an absolute speedster.
On high of the Lyons brothers doubtlessly wreaking havoc on Saturday, Eldridge is dynamite on the again for the Tigers. If he can discover house near the road, he is virtually inconceivable to cease.
Whereas it’s straightforward to get enthusiastic about Tumut internet hosting Gundagai, two extra huge video games are set to be performed in Spherical 13.
Albury Thunder can probably sneak again contained in the Group 9 high 5, and they are going to be out to make an announcement in opposition to the South Metropolis Bulls at Greenfield Park on Saturday.
On Sunday, the second-placed Temora Dragons host the third-placed YoungCherrypickers at Nixon Park, and very similar to Tumut, the winner can be one step nearer to a top-three end and a second likelihood come finals.
Click on right here for the Group 9 desk.