The Illawarra Steelers SG Ball (U18) team will face the Penrith Panthers in their Finals Series Week 1 fixture at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on Saturday (2.30pm).
Both teams previously met in Round 4 with the result going the way of the Steelers 30-18.
“The boys really rose to the challenge and they definitely deserved their incredible result” said Coach Shane Millard following that game.
Assistant Coach Shaun Timmins seconded his staff member’s assessment.
“We obviously played well that day, we got in front and then fought back when they tested us,” said Timmins.
Completing the competition rounds in equal first place (second on percentages), the Steelers scored a total of 338 points whilst conceding only 146 points.
“I think we’ve had a really successful season so far,” said Assistant Coach Dan Hunt.
“We’re really pushing for those boys to be the best that they can be and get the results that they deserve.”
Millard is well aware that the Panthers will enter this encounter well prepared and that his team will need to show strength, remain calm under pressure, and aim for at least an 80% completion rate.
He does not believe his team will be fazed by any added Finals pressure.
“To play nine games and win eight has put us in a position to do well in the next stage of the competition,” said Millard.
“This might be the last time that some of these boys play representative football, so our main focus remains on creating an enjoyable and memorable experience - a win would just add to this.”