The Mackay Cutters hope their re-match against the Northern Pride in the FOGS Under 20s Cup will see a similar result to their match in Round 1, as a win this Sunday punches their ticket to the grand final.
While the nature of the competition may be stressful for some, Cutters coach Grant Rovelli believes in his squad's attitude going into an elimination final.
“The players from the Mackay juniors have been pretty tough, so I think naturally in this game you can tell the boys are definitely up for it,” he said.
“They’re a little bit nervous, but they’re really excited, so we will be sure to capture that energy and make sure that gets best used on the field and not wasted during the week.”
The Cutters have been strong this season, losing only to the Townsville Blackhawks in Round 3.
It is that strong play that Rovelli hopes to continue going into this weekend, as preparations will not change too much from what the team has already been doing throughout the season.
“Our game plan doesn’t really change that much just because of the nature of the competition,” he said.
“Sure, we have to pick a few things we do well and really concentrate on them and not really worry too well about the opposition just really focus on our strengths.”
On the other side, the Northern Pride finished their season on a high note, winning five matches in a row. Their lone loss came to their semi-final opponents Mackay.
“They’ll definitely see a tough brand of footy,” Rovelli said.
“Both teams have been really playing well throughout the season, so I think it’ll be a really hardcore game of footy that’s for sure.”
The Pride head into this game after having a few weeks off – with their last game played in Round 6 seeing them record a 26-18 victory.
Kienan Grogan-Hayes scored a double on that day in what has become a big season for him – having debut in the Intrust Super Cup earlier this year.
Follow all the scores and see the final team line-ups for this game with QRL Live (link below)