Another chapter will be added to a pre-existing rivalry between Horsham Saints and Minyip-Murtoa in Saturday’s Wimmera Football League reserves grand final.
The Saints and Burras are no strangers to one another, having faced off in two of the last four reserves deciders.
The Saints have featured in every reserves grand final from 2014 onwards, with two premiership victories coming against the Burras. One of those wins came in last year’s reserves grand final.
They have also had the wood over Minyip-Murtoa throughout the 2018 season to date, winning all three contests including a major semi-final just two weeks ago to advance to the grand final.
Despite Horsham’s success over the Burras, their last two wins over them were just by four points each.
Horsham Saints reserves coach Ben Knott said his side’s recent record over the Burras gives his team confidence going into the biggest game of the year.
“They (Minyip-Murtoa) had the better of both those games and controlled them but I still back my guys to run the game out well once again,” he said.
“We had a look at them on Sunday in their prelim and having met a few times throughout the year we have an idea of what to expect, it is just a matter of executing what we want to do.
“They have some great players out there so I am expecting another tough one.”
Minyip-Murtoa coach Dan Smith said although his side has not had a great recent run of form against the Saints his side has what it takes to win.
“We have had a few opportunities to play them and had some firm opposition so we are excited to see what the weekend holds,” he said.
Read more: Burras prevail against Giants in prelim
“They have had the wood over us for a while but the nature of the competition this year is that is has been close at the top. Either side that is able to control the contest will win the game.
“We are confident going into the weekend.”
The Saints enjoyed the week off while the Burras participated in a preliminary final last weekend, training on Saturday to stay fresh.
Knott has placed an emphasis on his team’s ability to compete strongly for four quarters as a defining factor in Saturday’s grand final.
“We just need to keep doing the things we have done well this year. Our work rate and work ethic needs to be up there again,” he said.
“If we continue to get our rotations well we give ourselves a chance to work hard every second we are out on the ground.”
Kicking in front of goals has been a cause for concern for the Burras in recent weeks, nearly costing them their preliminary final against the Giants.
Smith said his team has been working hard to fix their problem.
“Our conversion in front of goal has been something we have focused on, we kept the Giants in the game for three quarters with inaccuracy, we can’t afford to do that this weekend,” he said.
“It is also really important we use the ball well in other parts of the ground, not giving it back easily to the Saints.”
Both teams are expecting to make limited to no changes for the decider at Anzac Park on Saturday.
The game is set for a 12pm start at Warracknabeal.