Border Mail Round 14 – Preview
HENTY coach Joel Price believes the outcome of Saturday’s clash between the Swampies and Culcairn at Culcairn will provide a vital piece of the Hume league finals jigsaw puzzle.
The Swampies sit eighth with five rounds remaining and desperately need a big scalp to keep their season alive.
“The pressure is mounting after losing by two points against Osborne last week,” Price said.
“But to be honest, we haven’t really talked about finals.
“After the recent bye, we just set ourselves some goals that we wanted to achieve.
“From my point of view, I couldn’t be any more proud of how we performed last weekend.
“Going forward, if we can produce that sort of form for the rest of the season, what will be will be I suppose.
“At the moment, our destiny is in our own hands but if we lose it probably isn’t.”
After Culcairn the Swampies face Jindera, Brock-Burrum, CDHBU and Billabong Crows.
OSBORNE premiership coach Matt Rava is set to stand down at the end of the season.
In his fourth season at the helm, Rava said the time was right for a change and cited growing family commitments as the biggest factor.
“I’ve been coaching for six years straight, four years at Osborne and two years at Wagga Tigers previously,” Rava said.
“We not too long ago had our second child as well.
“So I’m just weighing everything up at the minute.
“I’ve told the club to start having a look around and follow-up any leads because it’s good to get a fresh voice in after a while.
“I still love the challenge of coaching but I’m just not too sure if I’m going to have the time to commit.”
Daniel McAlister is the Tigers’ longest serving coach since joining the Hume league in 1970 after a five year stint at the helm from 2011-15.
Rava replaced McAlister at the start of 2016.
The 35-year-old has finished sixth, premiers and fourth and has the Tigers well placed for a premiership assault this season.
They sit second with a 10-3 record and look the biggest threat to Brock-Burrum who will take a power of stopping in claiming its fifth flag in seven seasons.
The two heavyweights clash next weekend in what many predict will be a grand final preview.
“We are not looking too far ahead,” he said.
“There is still a lot of work to be done and we are not even guaranteed a spot in the top-two at the moment.
“We were pretty disappointed with our form about a month ago and addressed internally what we were going to do about it.
“Since then we have been able to clinch some important wins against Culcairn and Henty.
“I thought we were impressive right across the board against Culcairn.
“While last weekend against Henty we were forced to hang tough and grind out the win.”
Rava said the secret to Osborne’s success was the endless talent that had emerged through the clubs junior ranks.
“That was the main reason that I accepted the job,” he said.
“I remember watching the thirds and reserves playing in the 2015 grand final and was amazed at the amount of young local talent running around.
“There is another three or four juniors that have made their senior debut this season.
“Kids like Lachlan Armstrong, Edward O’Connell, Sam Stening and Ryan Collins.”
Stening recently made the All-Australian under-16 side.
CDHBU v Rand-Walbundrie-Walla
Culcairn v Henty
Holbrook v Brock-Burrum
Howlong v Lockhart
Jindera v Osborne
Murray Magpies v Billabong Crows
(The Border Mail)
(Former Brock-Burrum coach)
(Holbrook life member)
TUG OF WAR
One experienced Ovens and Murray player has a dilemma on his hands.
While he is keen to step into coaching in the Hume league, he has ties with two clubs and is believed to be torn.
Don’t expect a decision for another month.
CDHBU and Howlong are building a fierce rivalry.
Since 2013 when they played in the last round of the season to determine who made the finals, they have been involved in a series of thrillers.
The final margins between the sides since then have been 28, 9, 19, 3, 9, 4 and 1 point.
Tempers flared at three quarter-time during CDHBU and Howlong’s clash at Coreen with spectators becoming involved in an incident on the ground.
About eight people were involved in some push and shove.
Thankfully, order was restored reasonably quickly.
KNOCKING ON THE DOOR
Brock-Burrum reserve grade defender Sam O’Connor has supposedly had enough.
After knocking on the door for several weeks in regards to senior selection, Saint insiders say the Lavington cricketer was furious after being overlooked last Thursday night.
“I’ve become the Bryce Gibbs of the Hume league,” O’Connor allegedly told one of his teammates.
“What more can I do?”