Hastings Valley Vikings and Grafton Redmen in 2018 Mid North Coast Rugby Union reserve grade grand final

On track: Kye Alpen hopes to lead his team to their fifth-straight second grade premiership. Photo: Ivan Sajko
On track: Kye Alpen hopes to lead his team to their fifth-straight second grade premiership. Photo: Ivan Sajko

HASTINGS Valley Vikings second grade captain Kye Alpen is better prepared for this Saturday’s grand final against Grafton than he was in 2017.

Twelve months ago, the fly-half dislocated his knee two months from the end of the competition which was expected to sideline him for the season.

He recovered in time to play a vital role in the Vikings 41-0 hammering of the Redmen that clinched their fourth-straight premiership.

The two sides will again clash on Saturday with the ultimate prize again on the line – and for the Vikings, another shot at re-writing the record books.

They’ve made it a habit throughout the last four seasons.

“I’ve never heard of (winning five premierships in a row) happening before so it’s pretty special and should be a good day,” Alpen said.

Grafton are the only side to knock off the Vikings this season so the Hastings Valley skipper doesn’t expect another blowout scoreline come Saturday.

“We only lost two round games to Grafton, but then (we) got them last weekend in the major semi 30-7,” Alpen said.

“They’re the only team to beat us, so it’ll be a tough hit out.”

While the Vikings second grade squad have been towards the top of the competition for the last half a decade, it is largely due to the development of the younger grades.

Because we’re such a family-based club it’s awesome to have three teams in the grand final.

Second grade captain Kye Alpen

“It’s different in a lot of ways because we’ve got a heap of new faces,” Alpen said.

“Because we’re such a family-based club it’s awesome to have three teams in the grand final.”

Alpen admitted his team would need to muscle up in defence before their attack could spring into action.

“The first 20 minutes we’re going to have to be real strong and then hopefully it all comes together,” he said.

“Field position will win it and our defence because if our defence isn’t up to scratch that’s when they’ll get over the top of us.”

Kick off is at 12.35pm on Saturday at Oxley Oval.

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