TWO words spring to the mind of Orange CYMS back-rower Matt Penny when he thinks of former South Sydney Rabbitohs and Melbourne Storm cult hero Matt King.
And, unlike the rest of us, neither one of them is fro.
Penny will line up alongside the former Australian and NSW representative for the opening match of the Group 10 season on Sunday at Wade Park and the nonchalant CYMS forward believes the chance to play in the same team as King is a “huge opportunity”.
“I can’t wait to see him play,” Penny said ahead of the first derby match of the 2014 season against Orange Hawks.
“I’m supposed to be going to Melbourne on Sunday night and I’ve been held back so I can play with him. It’s worth it I think.”
Even without the presence of King, tomorrow’s clash against the two blues is massive on many levels.
Any derby clash is a big occasion.
“I’m supposed to be going to Melbourne on Sunday night and I’ve been held back so I can play with him. It’s worth it I think"
Add to the mix the two teams squared off four times last season, two of which were arguably the games of the 2013 season after Hawks won the major semi 12-11 before the green and golds got the last laugh in the grand final 22-14.
Throw in a NRL star who retired just last season and it’s a recipe for another derby bottler.
“Definitely,” Penny said.
“Hopefully [King] really shows us what he’s made of.
“There’s always a big crowd here and you want to show everyone who’s the better team in Orange.”
A CYMS junior who hadn’t tasted grand final success until last year’s eight-point win over Hawks in front of 5000 people at Wade Park, Penny was confident of his green and gold team again getting the better of the two blues.
He said last year’s grand final win was “the best feeling ever”.
“I’d love to do it again. I can’t really explain it, it was that good. I definitely hope (CYMS can do it again),” Penny added.
“(Hawks) beat us in three games last year but we won the one that mattered.
“Our pre-season has been less than desired compared to the last few years. We haven’t played as many games, not as many trials, but I think we’ll be able to pick up where we left off last season.
King has been named to play fullback in the absence of two of CYMS’ best players.
Set to sit out the opening six weeks of the competition, Tim Bassmann is out with a dislocated thumb while gun recruit Dan Stuart is also absent on a work conference.
Prop Brent Colley will also miss the derby through injury.
Kick-off for Sunday’s clash is at 2.30pm.
ORANGE CYMS: 1 Matt King, 2 Jarrod Robbins, 3 Luke Coleman, 4 Kyran Bubb, 5 Semisi Katoa, 6 Ben McAlpine, 7 Warick Colley, 8 Des Knight, 9 Sam Hill, 10 Zac Bohan, 11 Riley Law, 12 Matt Penny, 13 Ben Gosper.