For the second season in a row, the Waratah Tigers will head into the first-grade final however they will be hoping for the opposite result when they take on the Yenda Blueheelers on Sunday afternoon at Solar Mad Stadium.
The Waratahs had the extra week to prepare for the big day after defeating the Blueheelers 18-16 in the preliminary final out at Wade Park.
There are a few boys under a bit of a cloud but it should be right.Waratahs coach Kose Lelei
Coach Kose Lelei said the break came at the perfect time for his side.
“It was good to have that week off,” he said.
“There were a few boys after the Yenda game carrying a few little injuries but that week off has come at the right time.
“There are a few boys under a bit of a cloud, but it should be right. Test them out on Thursday and Saturday and see how we go.”
While his side was able to pick up a win the last time they played, Lelei knows there is room from improvement heading into the decider.
“We just needed to work on our ball security,” he said.
“We were making little errors through the play the balls and just dropping the ball in the ruck.
“We can't afford to do that, especially in a grand final.
“In the last game we were defending too much, and we will be looking to avoid that on Sunday.
“It (the win in the preliminary final) will give us a bit more confidence heading in, but a grand final is a different day with a different atmosphere with a big crowd.”
While the side came up short in the 2017 grand final against the Black and Whites, Lelei takes the positives from that and the impact it has had on the young side.
“It was a good experience for the young boys who for a few of them it was their first grand final in first grade,” he said.
“To get that taste and to fall short will make us more hungry this year.”
It is sure to be a close encounter on Sunday afternoon with the three clashes between the two sides separated by two points at most. The first-grade game will wrap up the action starting at around 3.40pm.