Murray league interleague preview

By Alex Mitchell

The Murray Football League’s best will do battle today with the Wimmera Football League in a Rumbalara Rumble.

The state’s 15th-ranked league will battle number 17, looking to respond to last year’s 62-point smashing at the hands of Gippsland.

But a talented side is ready to fight it out, looking to repeat the 2017 result when the Murray league beat Wimmera by 22 points.

Coach Jye Warren – both playing and coaching his first interleague clash – said the game plan was simple; attack, attack, attack.

“We only got a bit of Wimmera intel on Friday morning, but from our side, we just want to play some slingshot footy and take the game on a bit,” Warren said.

“We’ve got nothing to lose and we’re pretty confident with the list we’ve put together.”

Catching the eye is an impressive midfield cartel with ruck Hamish Hosking (Mulwala) feeding the ball down the throats of Jackson Gash (Mulwala), Michael Herlihy (Numurkah) and NTFL champion Cam Ilett.

A versatile backline including Grant Gallus (Numurkah), Luke Dunham (Moama) and Levi Power (Rumbalara) seems brilliantly poised to tackle whatever Wimmera can muster, while Bailey Bell (Nathalia) and Ben Fulford (Echuca United) will be keen for some goals.

A side with a degree of youth, Warren said that would hold the league in good stead moving forward.

“We want them to get a taste of it and hopefully build on that playing the next few years,” he said.

“Chappy (Josh Chapman) and a couple of the older blokes, they’re probably in their last couple of years of interleague and we want them to pass down that knowledge and experience.

“We’re confident with our guys, there’s a few new ones, but they’re the ones that put their hands up and trained every session. You do want the best side possible, but when guys don’t put their hands up, you pick the guys that have been there and that are enthusiastic about it.”

The selection of Congupna’s Chapman as captain, Warren said, had not been a difficult decision by any stretch.

“It’s a no-brainer really, he’s got a pretty good football resume,” he said.

The first night I took training I was a little bit nervous, Jason Limbrick has a great background and they’re big shoes to fill.

“But (Chapman) made it easy, took the warm-up and really helped take control of training. He’s a no-brainer as captain with the experience he brings, it’s so good to have him.”

●The Murray Netball League’s stars will also battle Wimmera, with the open clash at 1.30pm.

The side contains no players from the dominant Moama squad, but does not lack class, with talents like Amelia Seignior (Deniliquin), Tessa Bruni (Cobram), Lisa Drysdale (Echuca United) and Klarindah Hudson (Rumbalara) to lead the way.

Drysdale will captain the side, to be coached by Rumbalara’s Jess Bamblett.

●The under-18 football side will be captained by Congupna’s Patrick Jacobson and Deniliquin’s Ryan MacDonald, and will face Wimmera at noon.

Curtain-raising netball games include 13-and-under (11am), 15-and-under (11.30am) and 17-and-under (12.15pm).