Goorambat-All Blacks grudge match sets the scene for the final round of O and K

By Meg Saultry

In the final match of the Ovens and King league, Benalla All Blacks and Goorambat will do battle at Friendlies Oval on Saturday in the second of its bi-annual grudge matches.

The All Blacks got the four points earlier in the season, beating Goorambat by 68 points.

But the Bats will be intent on not going down as easily this time, having built on their form in the second half of the season.

And their 66-point win against Moyhu last week will give the Bats plenty of confidence ahead of the final match.

Goorambat coach Sam Gladstone said his team would throw everything it had at the All Blacks.

“We’re looking to make a big statement, so what better opportunity to do it than against the All Blacks,” Gladstone said.

“It’s going to be discipline that gets us over the line.

“We’ll be right on every man, everyone on their opponents.”

For All Blacks coach Harry Moran, it will be his last time leading out the All Blacks.

“This week, for me as my last week as coach, the main message is just to have fun,” Moran said.

“I’ve been pretty serious about the way I coach.

“But we all play sport for fun.

“And if we can tick those boxes, of moral and comradery, it should get us up and about.”

Special occasion: Goorambat's James Webb (left) will play his 100th game for the club on Saturday. Picture: Meredith Tolliday.

The match will have many celebrate milestones, with Bats player James Webb celebrating his 100th game for the club.

“James has been a loyal player for Goorambat and has really stepped out of his skin and become a leader in the group,” Gladstone said.

“Getting to 100 games is a standout achievement.

“He loves the club and we hope to get the win for him.”

As for the All Blacks, as well as being Moran’s last game, Alister Crooks will notch 200 games, Blake Goodwin will celebrate his 100th appearance, while plenty will be happening around the ground with the All Blacks unveiling their new netball scoreboard, the club holding its sponsors' and donors' day, as well as plenty of activities to get involved with through the McDonald's Family Fun Day.