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Moree Boars’ centenary celebrations night-of-nights looms large

MOREE Boars Rugby League Football Club is packing down for one of the most important nights of its long and cherished history when former and current players, committee members, officials and supporters come together to celebrate 100 years of rugby league in Moree.

Local league’s night-of-nights, proudly sponsored by Aaron, Tamara and Lucy Ross, will take place at the Moree War Memorial Hall on Balo Street on Saturday, July 21, and organisers say tickets are selling fast.

Tickets, at just $60 per person, are available until Saturday, July 7 at www.trybooking.com/vzuy.

The cost includes canapes, dinner, a charity auction and live entertainment.

Former league stars Tony Butterfield and David “Cement” Gillespie will be guest speakers at an evening that will bring together hundreds of past and present supporters of Moree rugby league.

Deb Holland and brother-in-law Mick Holland, with jerseys to be auctioned at the Moree Boars Centenary Ball on July 21. Both jerseys were donated by Mick’s son, Bulldogs player Kerrod Holland (Image Copyright Bill Poulos).

Butterfield, a NSW representative prop-forward, played the vast majority of his professional career with Newcastle Knights, including their 22-16 premiership win over Manly in 1997.

Gillespie, regarded as a stand-out performer in Canterbury Bulldogs’ 24-12 grand-final win over Balmain Tigers in 1988, represented Australia 19 times between 1988 and 1995.

The centenary ball will also feature an auction of rugby league jerseys that will help raise funds to build a Moree Boars club house at Boughton Oval as well as help finance the club’s ongoing costs.

Included in the auction are a signed Canterbury Bulldogs jersey and a jersey worn by Bulldog Kerrod Holland in the NRL Indigenous Round played in May, where every player and match official wore Indigenous-inspired jerseys.

Holland has tight-knit links to Moree – his aunty, Deb Holland, is one of the centenary ball’s organisers along with club secretary Ashlee Johnston.

“This jersey is not available is stores at all and is quite unique,” Holland said.

“Both jerseys have been kindly donated by Kerrod, who has close ties with Moree and the Moree Boars – his grandfather, father, uncles and cousins have all played for the Moree Boars over the years,” she said.

Also to go under the hammer is a specially-crafted, limited edition Moree Boars jersey featuring a multitude of names associated with the club during the past 100 years.

“This jersey is one of just a few being made and features the names of many of Moree rugby league’s players, club officials, sponsors and supporters,” Holland said.

A blue-print of the Moree Boars limited edition jersey featuring a multitude of names associated with the club during the past 100 years.

“Heroes and Villains, who are bringing along Tony Butterfield and David Gillespie, will also have merchandise to auction and raffle.”

The timely celebrations come during a season that could give Moree Boars their first grand-final spot in nearly 20 years.

The Boars last played in a grand-final in 2004 against Wee Waa in the Group 4 competition when beaten 42-10.

Moree’s last Group 4 premiership win was two years earlier when defeating West Lions 34-18 while their last Group 19 day in the sun was in 1993 when beating Armidale, 22-20.

Moree coach Scott Girard is well aware that his team is looking at the very real possibility of being there on grand-final day at seasons-end – 16 years after the club’s last group premiership win.

“The confidence is there,” Girard said.

“The boys are looking at the big picture, and they want it – they’re hungry.

“Just as long as we don’t get too cocky and just go from win to win and week to week, and just keep going through, then we can be there on the day,” he said.

Words: Bill Poulos

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