NORMALLY, there is nothing quite like an Orange Emus versus Orange City local derby.
When it’s a qualifying semi-final at Endeavour Oval - the second time the two teams have clashed in as many weeks - it becomes a whole other kettle of fish, and respective Emus and Orange City props Brent Braithwaite and Darcy Garlick can’t wait.
“They’re the best games to play in,” Braithwaite said.
“But to have one in a final, it’s going to go to another level.”
“The atmosphere is always incredible,” Garlick added.
With Braithwaite named at tighthead for Emus and Garlick at loosehead for the Lions the pair will reignite a fierce individual battle at scrum time, born from the two sides’ first clash in 2014 - an 8-all draw at Endeavour Oval.
Watch our preview video of this weekend's semi-finals:
“I gave it to him in the scrums last weekend too,” Braithwaite said with a giggle, dissipating his strong and silent demeanour.
“I thought it was pretty even, it’ll be a good fight,” Garlick added with a smile.
Both in their second top flight seasons at their respective clubs, Braithwaite and Garlick have simultaneously evolved into two of the best front-rowers in the Blowes Clothing Cup - testament to their respective pedigrees.
Braithwaite, an Emus junior, had a season with the Lions before returning to Endeavour Oval, where he has since represented central west and NSW Country Colts.
Garlick, a former Kinross First XV star, played several seasons with Wests Lions in the ACT Rugby Union, and also spent two seasons in the Brumbies Academy.
“It will be intense, the home crowd will help,” Braithwaite said.
“It’ll be faster, tougher and more physical than anything I’ve played before.”
“We’ve focused on our set piece a lot, I think everyone can expect a very good game of rugby,” Garlick added.
Orange Emus will host Orange City at Endeavour Oval in the semi-final at 3.15pm on Saturday.