The Bendigo Rugby Union Club will be aiming to continue its perfect record of grand final victories at Box Hill’s Sparks Reserve today.
Bendigo will tackle the Border Army Rugby Club in the VRU country division decider after thumping Puckapunyal Boars 71-10 in last weekend’s preliminary final.
It will be the sixth grand final the Fighting Miners have played at Sparks Reserve, resulting in five victories, including a run of four in a row from 2003-2006.
Bendigo will be full of confidence for the decider after taking full toll of the Boars outfit which was depleted by several mid-year postings.
The Fighting Miners’ power and pace was too much for Puckapunyal, which could do nothing to stop Bendigo crossing the try-line 11 times.
Bendigo’s impressive scoring performance began in the fifth minute when flanker Daniel Fallaver touched down in a rolling maul.
Three tries in the next 20 minutes extended the lead to 22-0, before a succession of penalties and an unconverted try against Bendigo stemmed the scoring tide before half-time.
But the Fighting Miners came out of the break with renewed intent, with Daniel Afualo, Fareni Moefaauo and Johneen Fagavao all crossing the line to give Bendigo a 43-5 lead.
The Boars managed to run in another unconverted try, but a second to Afualo, a brace to number eight Ale Liliva and another to Steve McDonald led to the referee stopping the onslaught by blowing full-time with eight minutes to go.
“It was one out of the box for us, we’ve been improving ever so slightly every match and it’s just clicked right at the right time,” Fighting Miners president Alan Wilkinson said.
“The week before we played extremely well and we played even better on Saturday. Let’s hope we can improve it just a bit more and play even better this coming Saturday.”
Although the win did wonders for the team’s confidence, Wilkinson said the players were well aware of how difficult winning the club’s 12th premiership from 19 grand finals would be.
Bendigo has suffered three heavy defeats to the Border Army this season.
“They are a formidable opposition, if we win that will be an extraordinary effort.
“But it’s in us to win it, because it was evident on Saturday,” Wilkinson said.
The Fighting Miners, who won their last premiership in 2009, have rebounded well from a turbulent season where several players were suspended after an all-in brawl in a match against Deniliquin in June.
“With the suspension it made it very difficult, but the guys have really banded together and I’m very confident about Saturday actually,” Wilkinson said.
The Fighting Miners’ grand final kicks off at noon.
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