ARARAT - The Ararat Devils Rugby team will be out for revenge this Saturday following last year's defeat at the hands of the Victoria Police Vikings in the inaugural Blue Ribbon Rugby League Cup.
The Devils went down to the Vikings eight tries to one in the first match, however Crime Prevention Officer, Leading Senior Constable Eddy MacDonald said the rugby cup is more than about winning or losing.
"The Blue Ribbon Rugby League match is to pay respect to the 157 police officers that have lost their lives while on duty," he said.
"It is to respect the ultimate sacrifice they've made, but it is also a way of bringing the community together to build on the wellbeing."
This year's event is supported by the Victoria Police Blue Ribbon Foundation Ararat, Ararat Rural City Council, Ararat Rotary, Victoria Rugby League, Victoria Police Association, Victorian Police Pipe Band and the Ararat Police.
Alexandra Oval will play host to the 2013 cup, with the main game beginning at 6pm.
"If last year's event is anything to go by this will be a really good spectacle, this time under lights at Alexandra Oval," LSC MacDonald said.
"We had the inaugural match last year at the Gordon Street Oval, played in testing conditions. I think it was about three degrees and crowd numbers were down.
"I know that both teams have been training in the lead up to the match and in the first match there were some big hits!
"There was a high level of skill displayed, however there was also a high element of sportsmanship and there was also respect shown between the police team and the community team, which is really good."
LSC MacDonald said policemen from across the state will travel to the region to play in the game, which is once again a great coup for Ararat and something the Blue Ribbon Foundation Ararat branch would like to see continuing.
There are some officers travelling from as far as Bairnsdale in the Gippsland area, while the Ararat Devils are comprised of about 20 locals with some players joining in from Horsham.
LSC MacDonald said to keep building on the event a touch rugby competition would be staged at 4pm on Saturday and he is inviting anyone from the community interested to come along and participate.
"The 15-minute games will be completely non-contact, with five a side teams and a $1 donation," he said.
"It is a good opportunity to have fun with other members of the community while helping to raise funds for the Victoria Police Blue Ribbon Foundation.
"The Victoria Police Pipe Band will also be performing at the event and leading up to the kick off there will be a remembrance speech and one minute's silence before the main game.
"It is a way for the community to go along and access some sort of memorial or remembrance service for fallen police officers.
"This is unique to Ararat, it is the only event of its type I would say quite positively in Australia. Even though Ararat doesn't have a rugby league competition here, the community has shown there is enough eagerness to support this Blue Ribbon match."
Ararat Rotary will be providing a barbecue at the event, while drinks will also be available.