Grand Final Preview – 2017

From the Border Mail

Outgoing Henty coach Matt Klemke is predicting a tight Hume league grand final.

YOU could mount a really good case for Osborne or Jindera in Saturday’s grand final.

They had our measure earlier in the season and got us again when Jamie Parr kicked a goal on the siren late in the home and away series.

I don’t think either side is stacked with superstars but they are both really solid across the board with a lot of depth.

Parr plays like and extra on-baller and Jindera ruckman Mitch Lawrence is going to have to watch him closely.

Marty Bahr and Connor Galvin are important as well and, after Tom Weldon shut down Jye Shields last week, it wouldn’t be a total surprise if he went to either of them at the first bounce.

 Jindera’s wildcard is Sam Myors.

I noticed Kerry Bahr said earlier in the week that he was a certainly to return from injury and that’s a huge plus for the Bulldogs because he’s a running machine.

He might have to spend a bit of extra time rotating off the bench because he’s been out for a while, but I still think he can make an impact.

While I’m tipping Osborne, the Cats will want to be up by a couple goals at three-quarter-time.

Jindera were all over Osborne late in the match a couple of weeks ago and its run from defence proved too much for Culcairn in the preliminary final.

It’s virtually a 50-50 call, but the week off might be just enough.

The verdict: Osborne by 13 points.

AFTER taking Wagga Tigers to the brink of a premiership, Matt Rava is looking forward to going all the way with Osborne on Saturday.

Rava is no stranger to premiership success, winning six flags with Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong during their golden era.

Now at 33, it has been six years since Rava has played on grand final day but he is excited about returning to the big stage.

“Yeah definitely, it’s a grand final, it’s hard not to be,” Rava said.

“It’s totally different to being a young bloke, just playing in it.

“I think my point of view on the whole approach of it is a bit different now but I’m excited about it for sure.”

Rava spent three years in his most recent stint at Wagga Tigers, the last two seasons as senior coach.

He took them within four points of a grand final appearance in 2015, before being replaced by Shaun Campbell. The rest is now history as Tigers went on to win the 2016 Riverina league premiership.

“I was proud of the boys, obviously I’m mates with all of the players and that sort of stuff,” he said.

“I had a lot to do with them for three years so I was stoked to see them get the win and that the hard work paid off.

“It’s been a very similar path (at Osborne), development wise, with a young group and I’m hoping to get some reward with this one.

“I’m really excited about it.”

Osborne went through most of the season undefeated. They suffered their first loss to Jindera in round 18, but then reversed the result a fortnight later with a nine-point win in the second semi-final.

Rava is confident his team can complete the job on Saturday.

“We’ve proven through the year that we’re able to beat anyone on our day,” he said.

“More often than not we’ve got a solid block of contributors so that’s what we look for every week. We talk about the 21 contributors and we’ve been really good in that aspect. “

JINDERA utility Mick Galvin isn’t sure where he will start in Saturday’s Hume league grand final against Osborne.

“They are a bit quick for me.” Galvin, 21, laughed.

“They are more outside running players and I’ll be either full-back or full-forward.

“I’d say Declan will probably play on a wing, Clancy will take one of our small forwards and Connor is a superstar who will go on the ball and play up forward.

“We only see each other a couple of times a year with them being at Wagga and us being at Jindera.

“It was good the other week at Osborne though when my brother Chris and I played against them all in the final round.”

It’s doubtful the cousins will exchange pleasantries before the grand final on Saturday.

“I don’t think so,” Galvin said.

“We will probably have a good catch-up with them after the game.”

After a delayed pre-season due to cricket commitments with Cricket Albury-Wodonga club Lavington, the 21-year-old was in and out of the senior side until late July when he consolidated his position.

He played at full-forward against Andrew Madden in the Bulldogs’ first final against Osborne before moving to defence to pick up Culcairn dangerman Peter Cook last weekend.

“I’m not sure where I’ll play,” Galvin said.

“Kerry (Bahr) hasn’t told me yet.

“I’m just happy to play wherever the side needs me the most.

“I only really got into the team in the back half of the season and I’m just looking forward to playing my role.”

Osborne has a 2-1 win-loss record over Jindera this season with only nine and seven points separating them in their last two confrontations.

Galvin is expecting another tight tussle.

”We respect them as a team as you don’t have a season like they have unless you are a quality side,” he said.

“They have been one of the best teams in the league for the past 20 years or so and we know it’s going to take a big effort on the day.”

Galvin’s brother, Chris, was best afield with five goals in Jindera’s stunning come-from-behind reserve grade preliminary final win against Brocklesby-Burrumbuttock last weekend.

The Bulldogs take on Henty in the seconds decider.