The Penrith Rams will use their ‘underdog’ status in this weekend’s Grand Final as motivation, as they look to claim their second AFL Sydney premiership in three years.
The Rams will take on Southern Power in Saturday afternoon’s decider at Rosedale Park after both sides knocked off the top two regular season teams in last week’s semi-finals.
Power took care of business against minor premiers Macquarie University, while the Rams enjoyed a thrilling 10-point win over the Balmain Tigers.
Penrith came out hot in the first quarter, but it was the boys from Balmain who led late in the final term. Fortunately for Rams supporters, the side hit back with three quick goals and a 10-point buffer with just a couple of minutes left on the clock.
The 72-62 win is now being billed as one of the club’s “most tenacious victories ever”.
Rams coach Kevin Kirk said he was on the edge of his seat for the entire match.
“It’s very hard to maintain your composure in those types of matches, you try and control yourself but it’s hard,” he admitted.
“Both teams played well, I just think our desire may have been greater than theirs – our boys didn’t give up. It was very exciting and very rewarding for the boys. If you work that hard and get the reward, it’s a good incentive to encourage you to keep working hard.”
While getting into the Grand Final is hard, winning it is even harder.
The Rams will go into Saturday’s game as outsiders, with their opponents from the Shire looking to secure back-to-back Platinum Division premierships.
Kirk said he’s expecting another tight and tough contest.
“Power will be very physical, they are a good football side,” he said.
“I think the team that works the hardest and has the most desire is going to win the game.”
Power will go into tomorrow’s Grand Final full of confidence having belted the Rams by a whopping 50 points earlier this month.
Kirk said previous encounters will be thrown out the window come 3.40pm Saturday.
“I’m not too fussed with the result from a few weeks ago, they played well and we didn’t that day,” he said.
“It’s a new dawn and we’ll just take excitement and enthusiasm into the game and see what we can do.”
Nathan Taylor is the Weekender’s Deputy Editor and Senior Sports Writer. He also compiles the weekly Chatter on the Box TV column. Nathan is an award-winning journalist, who has worked at the Weekender for nearly a decade.