Sport

Quick turnaround for Moran

By Fraser Walker-Pearce

It’s tough enough to coach one of the best footy teams in Benalla on a normal day.

But try coming straight from the hospital after receiving a knee reconstruction to belt out instructions from the sideline.

That’s exactly what Benalla All Blacks coach Harry Moran did on Saturday afternoon.

Renowned for being one of the toughest men in local footy, Moran suffered a ‘‘knee explosion’’ in the All Blacks-Greta game in round five of the Ovens and King Football League.

Moran said he snapped his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), and shattered his meniscus as well as his medial collateral ligament (MCL).

This, of course, meant he was in line for surgery to fix the broken mess.

But even die-hard Panthers fans would not have expected their talisman Moran to have returned as quickly as he did.

Even if he didn’t take to the field.

On Saturday Moran was delivered slowly into Whitfield Recreation Reserve in King Valley to make sure his game plan was followed to a tee.

‘‘I probably shouldn’t have been there, but I was straight out of hospital on Saturday morning (the morning after surgery) and got down to the ground,’’ Moran said.

‘‘My assistant coach and I got down there in his land cruiser.

‘‘I tried to give a team talk, but I don’t know if anything I said on the weekend made sense, but I gave it a go nonetheless.’’

Whatever he said must have worked — the Panthers ran out 77-point victors over the Kangaroos, to retain a spot in the top two of the OKFL ladder.