MALSEED Park will come alive tomorrow with the Limestone Coast Rugby League grand final hosted by the Blue Lake Knights.
The Knights fell short of a grand final berth, with a defeat in the semi-final round.
However, they are set host the blockbuster final where Naracoorte Jets and Warrnambool Raiders will go head-to-head for the third year in a row, with the former chasing their fourth straight title.
The Raiders will hope to break the Jets’ stranglehold on the competition, but will face not only a strong lineup, but also a parochial South Australian crowd which is expected to arrive to offer support, with kick off set down for 3pm.
It is the classic South Australia v Victoria clash and the host club’s president Brenton Hodge said he expected a cracker of a contest.
“It will be a clash of the titans,” he said.
“This year the whole standard of rugby league has lifted across the board and the Jets have really stepped up again.
“They beat the Raiders earlier in the season and the last time they played, so they will go into this as red-hot favourites.
“But the Raiders have an experienced side, with a lot of players from Melbourne, so they will hope to finally get one over the Jets.”
That last outing saw the Jets comfortable 46-24 victors, so will certainly be confident they can hold onto the title.
Hodge said the Jets had maintained a consistent core of players, with some impressive Fijian members from the meat works in town arriving this year, who have helped the side have a standout season.
“I think people should come down and support their state’s side and get behind Naracoorte,” he said.
“The Raiders will come with plenty of support – they travel with a good community who get behind their team.
“We want a good South Australian crowd to match that and create a good atmosphere in what will be a blinder of the game.”
Entertainment on the day will also see a Knights v Bulls women’s exhibition game as a curtain-raiser.
Hodge said the Bulls had worked hard this season to develop the women, which allows two full sides to play off.
“It is a really positive thing to have the women’s game before the men’s,” he said.
“We have had some interest from women in the Limestone Coast region and hope to build on that in the future.”
That game will kick off at 1.30pm.
Before that a junior tag session is set to run from 12pm to 1pm for ages 10-12 years
“Some of the NRL game development officers have been down from Adelaide to run training clinics in the schools this season,” Hodge said.
“We hope to bring all the kids together to give them a fun game and we can run two games side-by-side if we have a lot of kids interested.”
All in all Hodge said he expected a big day of rugby league on what he described as an amazing ground out at Malseed Park, with full facilities available.