Gippsland rises up the rankings

Gallery: Gippsland footy

THE Gippsland League has moved to eighth in the AFL Victoria Country rankings following its big win over the Yarra Valley-Mountain District Football League.

A crowd of more than 880 packed Moe’s Ted Summerton Reserve to watch the competition’s all star team in action.

Gippsland League captain Luke Collins said the 84-point victory is confirmation that the Gippsland League had the talent to continue to improve its ranking.

“Probably over the past few years we have been a few players off our best side, whether it’s been through injury or unavailability,” he said.

“If we get everyone across the league behind it, there is no reason we can’t get among the top five.”

The side was without several big names due to injury at the weekend, including Sale coach Matt Ferguson, Maffra full forward Darren Sheen and Traralgon forward Dan McKenna, however coach, Maffra’s Hayden Burgiel, was confident he had selected a young and fast moving team.

And he was right, the Gippsland League outfit looked the better side all day, but couldn’t seem to convert on the scoreboard early.

“When we were going forward, we just kept kicking it in, kicking it in, kicking it in, not sort of trying to spot a forward,” Burgiel said.

“I think we had 37 inside 50s for seven goals up until half-time.”

Burgiel used his half-time address to urge his side, which led by four goals, to get some majors on the board in the third term.

The all star team responded with a six-goal to none third term to lead the visitor by 62 points at the final change.

“We’ve got the win, lets enjoy the quarter, enjoy the win and celebrate our goals,” Burgiel said at three-quarter-time.

Gippsland managed five goals to the Yarra Valley’s two in the final term to run out an 84-point winner.

“It’s what we were hoping for … the boys were real good today, it was a really good team performance. All the set ups and game plans we gave them they played it to a tee,” Burgiel said.

Collins, who said it was an honour to captain such a talented team, added everyone played their role well.

“Mitch Davis was great up forward he kicked six goals and presented well and our half-back line was really good,” he said.

“Everyone just did a good job.

“It’s always good to be with a group of players, the best from all the sides and it’s great to be able to look up the field and know that you have a group of really good, reliable players to play with, it’s a great honour.”

Collins’ Sale teammate Mitch Davis was the star with six goals, but it was Morwell coach Harmit Singh that was named best-on-ground, ahead of Matt Gray, Davis, Zac Vernon, James Blaser and Collins.

SALE’S Jayden Allison was best-on-ground in the Gippsland under 18 team’s 15-point victory.

Sale teammate Mackenzie Bristow was also prominent in the 10.10 (70) to 7.13 (55) victory.

The home side trailed an inaccurate Yarra Valley side by six points at half-time before booting seven goals to four to secure victory.

Wonthaggi’s Andrew Murray booted four goals for Gippsland.