IF there’s one former player capable of lifting the Scone Thoroughbreds to the next level, it’s the late Will Carrigan.
And, his memory will be honoured this weekend when the BHP Billiton Hunter Valley Group 21 Rugby League competition hosts the inaugural Where There’s A Will round.
For the Thoroughbreds, who tackle the Muswellbrook Rams at Scone Park on Saturday, the special fixture resonates deeply within the local community.
“It’s arguably the biggest day in the club’s history,” Tim Smith admitted.
“For what it means to the people in town, Will’s family and everyone in general.
“He touched all and sundry.
“Will was the heart and soul of the Thoroughbreds.
“I played alongside him and two words best describe him: ‘absolute legend’.
“He was a friend of everyone; a guy willing to do anything for a mate – nothing was too much trouble.
“This round has been talked about [in the club] ever since the concept was first touted.
“The boys are pumped and we’re definitely banking on a big crowd on Saturday.
“Plus, it’s great to see the NRL and CRL taking notice of what the foundation is doing.
“The Where There’s A Will message is slowly getting out there.
“It’s a massive achievement for the Carrigans to have the NRL boss [Todd Greenberg] come to Scone to support the round, too.”
Although he didn’t play in the Thoroughbreds’ 20-16 loss to the Aberdeen Tigers, Smith admitted it was just “one of those days”.
“From all reports, the bounce of the ball went against us,” he said.
“But, we have the chance to hit back this weekend.
“Muswellbrook is the benchmark team – they’ve been going well.
“In saying that, we’re also happy with how we’re travelling [so far].
“We know what we can do – and realise we can match it with them.
“A lot of the boys have been there before, in the big games, and understand what’s required to win.
“So, it would be nice to go back-to-back in 2017.
“The competition is wide open this year – with Muswellbrook, Singleton, Scone, Aberdeen and Denman all in the mix.
“It will come down to who ever plays best on the day.”
Round 14 results:
First grade –
Muswellbrook def Denman 44-8
Aberdeen def Scone 20-16
Singleton won on a forfeit from Greta Branxton
Reserve grade –
Muswellbrook def Denman 74-0
Murrurundi def Greta Branxton 30-6
Aberdeen def Scone 26-22
Singleton def Merriwa 34-18
Muswellbrook def Denman 28-16
Singleton def Scone 28-18
Women’s league tag –
Muswellbrook def Denman 58-0
Murrurundi def Greta Branxton 46-0
Scone def Aberdeen 14-4
Merriwa def Singleton 16-4
Where There’s A Will round:
Saturday, August 12 –
At Scone Park
5.15pm: first grade, Scone v Muswellbrook
3.20pm: reserve grade, Scone v Muswellbrook
2.05pm: under-18s, Scone v Muswellbrook
1pm: women’s league tag, Scone v Muswellbrook
3pm: reserve grade, Murrurundi v Denman
2pm: women’s league tag, Murrurundi v Denman
Sunday, August 13 –
At McKinnon Field
2.30pm: first grade, Aberdeen v Singleton
1.05pm: reserve grade, Aberdeen v Singleton
11.50am: under-18s, Aberdeen v Singleton
10.45am: women’s league tag, Aberdeen v Singleton
1.30pm: first grade, Greta Branxton v Denman
Noon: reserve grade, Greta Branxton v Merriwa
11am: women’s league tag, Greta Branxton v Merriwa