There can be only one king
TWO champions of country footy will become one tomorrow.
Picola United, 12 times Picola and District Football League champions, take on 2017 South East Division champions Rennie.
In the first year competing in the new-look combined PDFL, the Blues face the Hoppers to see who really is the top dog.
Both have had astounding seasons, but for different reasons.
Rennie have been a bolt from the blue after finishing the home and away season in mediocre sixth place.
United have only had small bumps on the road to their own grand final berth.
Taking out second in the home and away season, the Blues thrashed both Deniliquin Rovers and Blighty to ensure they would be the ones challenging for the flag.
John Varcoe and his side could be excused for preparing to face Waaia in the big dance — after all they hadn’t lost all year.
But, Varcoe said, they were preparing for both after the Blighty preliminary final.
‘‘We didn’t have any expectations, they’re both top teams (Waaia and Rennie) and capable of beating anyone,’’ Varcoe said.
‘‘Usually at this stage I’ll be trying to prepare the team as well as I can, and trying to get them out there with every chance of success, that’s all that’s going through my mind.
‘‘Jerilderie is a nice ground, a similar length and a bit wider than ours — there’s no excuse, it’s good for all types of footy,’’ he said.
But Rennie ensured that wouldn’t be the case, a result even PDFL operations manager Shane Railton didn’t think would happen.
Which brings us to tomorrow’s match — set to be livestreamed from the Jerilderie grounds on the Riv’s website from 1.45pm.
United during home and away games this year averaged a winning scoreline of 112-47; compared to Rennie’s 95-64.
But in finals that number changes drastically — United won their two finals scored and conceded less: 91-38, while the Hoppers scored less and conceded more: 83-61.
Rennie will be tired having played the extra game, but they clearly hold dangerous players across the ground.
So do United though — they average getting nearly half the team on the goal-kickers’ sheet each week.
It’s tight, but it’s going to be Picola United by three goals.