Junior league local derby will be part of Barrett Shield day
RUGBY LEAGUE: Best mates Jacob Duff and Angus Ridley will pack in scrums against each other when Eastern Suburbs and Collegians play an under-16 game as a curtain-raiser to the Barrett Shield clash on Saturday at Father Ranger Oval.
The pair were best mates at Warwick West State School and now at Warwick State High School.
But when it comes to rugby league, Duff has always been in maroon and Ridley in blue.
Both will wear No.8 today at Father Ranger Oval and both have been teammates in some Warwick and District Chargers teams.
"We are best mates and it is fun to play each other in junior rugby league,” Ridley said.
"Even though we are mates, we are serious about our footy when we play each other.
"The two of us specialise more in attack than defence,” Ridley said.
In general play, Ridley sees his role more as taking the ball up in the first tackle.
"I take the first big hit and every now and then get the ball away in the tackle,” he said.
While training has not started for all junior teams, the under-16 teams have been training hard under coaches Mal Duff (Suburbs) and Jack Breen (Collegians) to prepare for today's game.
Mal Duff is a long-time Suburbs coach while past Warwick Cowboys A-grade centre Jack Breen is coaching an under-16 team for the first time at Collegians.
"Everyone likes being coached by Jack, he is a good bloke,” Ridley said.
Once he graduates from the under-16 grade, Ridley wants to go on and play Toowoomba Rugby League under-18 footy with the Warwick Cowboys and become a second-generation Cowboys player.
Jacob Duff will captain Eastern Suburbs this weekend.
He played two seasons in the under-7 grade for Eastern Suburbs and has not missed a season since.
This season is his second in the under-16 grade.
"I can't wait to get out there,” he said.
Being the first game of five on the day, the players are looking forward to playing in front of Warwick Cowboys and Wattles Warriors fans who come early to the footy, as well as plenty of supporters from junior rugby league.
After this weekend, it will be back to training for the two under-16 teams which will be part of this year's Warwick and District Junior Rugby League competition.
The two Warwick-based clubs will be joined by Wattles, Stanthorpe, MIT Jets, Goondiwindi and Tenterfield teams for the fixture season.
Admission to the Barrett Shield day of footy on Saturday is $6 for adults, $5 for those with concession cards. Children 15 years and under are free.
Grandstand seating is available at Father Ranger Oval.
Collegians: Jayden Tucker, Joseph Thornton, Joshua Reid, Daniel Fischer, Jack Coleman, Jayden Lippi, Maurice Webster, Angus Ridley, Daniel Howard, Ethan Le Sueur, Hayden Doherty, Damien Beresford, Morgan Byrne, Zachary Beckwith, Thomas Ramsey, Rohan Hay, Baden Williams.
Eastern Suburbs: Connor Atkins, Marcus Blackwood, Jeffrey Ross, Benjamin Hawks, Angus MacDade, Ezra Walker, Jona Duncan, Jacob Duff, Willem Boyce, Jordan Stonhauser, Kaleb Ammenhauser, Andrew Lowe, Dylan Roser, Blade Stoneman.