Temora's Matt Harpley to play grand final despite ACL tear but Marrar backman Geoff Spriggs will miss

BIG ROLE: Temora forward Matt Harpley at Thursday's grand final media conference in Wagga, opposite Marrar coach Shane Lenon. Picture: Les Smith
BIG ROLE: Temora forward Matt Harpley at Thursday's grand final media conference in Wagga, opposite Marrar coach Shane Lenon. Picture: Les Smith

Temora forward Matt Harpley says he wouldn’t have put his hand up to play in Saturday’s Farrer League grand final against Marrar if he thought it might harm his team’s hopes.

Harpley has been picked on the bench for Temora three weeks after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee, and in the knowledge he requires surgery after the season.

The league’s leading goalkicker said he carefully considered the risk to the team.

“You do (worry), yeah, but I’ve weighed that up with how it feels and if I didn’t think it was right and I could play a role, I wouldn’t put my hand up,” Harpley said.

“Hopefully I can help the team out and get the win.”

Coach Jake Wooden said Harpley had moved well at training on Thursday after being put to a physical test on Tuesday night. 

Even Harpley can barely believe his progress.

“I thought I was done but I got the swelling out of the knee and got on the bike, just so I could walk properly again,” he said.

“It started feeling really good so I thought I might be a chance to run and it just kept looking good.

“You get people saying you shouldn’t (play) but I’ve been to two physios and talked to a couple of friends who are physios. They all said go for it if it feels good.”

There was disappointment at Marrar for defender Geoff Spriggs, who will miss the decider after failing to recover from a hamstring strain. 

But ruckman Matt Parks (knee) is right to play his first game in a month, in the Bombers’ only change.