Marrar forward Rory Block laps up the lessons of playing forward

ON THE RISE: Marrar's Rory Block at work in Temora this week. Block has kicked 41 goals after going forward this season. Picture: Peter Doherty

ON THE RISE: Marrar's Rory Block at work in Temora this week. Block has kicked 41 goals after going forward this season. Picture: Peter Doherty

It's almost by accident rather than design that Rory Block got his chance to go forward at Marrar. 

But the excitement machine playing alongside an excitement machine has made the most of his opportunities, with 41 goals this year.

Lining up next to Brad Turner, Block says he's learning from the best.

“He's good - he helps along the way and just by watching him you can a learn a lot from the way he plays,” Block said.

“I was a wingman until this year so I'm still getting used to it. (Centre-half-forward) Jordy Matthews is another good director, he's always got a lot to say in the group huddles. It goes a long way to helping.”

Rory at pre-season

Rory at pre-season

As Block recalls, it was at a pre-season training that he slotted in up forward in a scratch match and caught the eye of Shane Lenon.

The coach said he'd play him forward and might even try something during the year. That came at Coleambally, when Turner was injured, and at one stage, Marrar opened up the forward 50 for Block and he kicked four goals. A couple of weeks later, he bagged nine against Charles Sturt University.

Two weeks ago, he had three in just over a quarter, but it was little consolation when Temora – his home town and old club – stormed back in the second half. 

Block gets airborne against The Rock-Yerong Creek in the Anzac Challenge match at Robertson Oval.

Block gets airborne against The Rock-Yerong Creek in the Anzac Challenge match at Robertson Oval.

“We isolated that last time we played Temora we fell apart in the middle and we fixed that up against East Wagga, so I think if we can just put it all together on the day, we're looking at a pretty good result,” Block said.

He's loved learning from Lenon along the way. 

“He gets the best out of you. Just with simple things that go a long way,” he said. “And I love his passion. He gets emotional.”

Block won five junior rugby league grand finals and an under 17s Aussie rules flag with Temora but beyond juniors has tasted defeat in two reserve grade deciders. 

"Yeah, I'm pretty excited - it's pretty new for me, in first grade anyway," Block said during a break at work in Temora.

"It's the talk of the town at the moment. 

"It's good banter. You know everyone so you can get into them because you know everybody's soft spots. But it's all good."

A leaguie for most of his life, Block reckons his body is better suited to Aussie rules. But his take on the grand final has a touch of State of Origin about it.

“It's mate versus mate, but it's kill or be killed at the same time.”