A home-grown Raymond Terrace side will be out to put the tag of bridesmaids behind them and claim the Magpies first major premiership in more than a decade.
The entire squad hails from the area and they will be out to erase three straight grand final losses when they tackle minor premiers Waratah Mayfield in the 2014 Newcastle and Hunter Rugby League C-grade decider.
Victory at Kurri Sportsground on Saturday would mark the club’s first premiership in the senior ranks since 2001 and follow consecutive defeats in grand finals between 2010 and 2012.
“We have been bridesmaids three times in B-grade, so hopefully it won’t happen again,” Raymond Terrace coach Paul Simpson said.
“But the best thing about this squad is they are all Terrace juniors.
“A lot of them have been around through the hard years and a few have come back, but they have all stuck together.
“A few of the boys are finishing up as well, so to get a win would be good.”
Simpson said the key to his side’s success this season has been consistency both on and off the field, with a regular squad and winning two thirds of their matches.
“We’ve had the same 15 blokes consistently,” Simpson said.
“We haven’t had to change around a lot.”
The Magpies have beaten the Cheetahs just once this season, a 52-26 triumph at home in round four, but since then Waratah Mayfield have delivered 30-24, 32-30 and 36-10 defeats, the latest in the major semi-final a fortnight ago.
“We need to play a lot smarter by running them around the paddock a bit more,” Simpson said. “Then hopefully the bounce of the ball goes our way as well.”
Simpson said second-rower Adam Jenkinson was the main injury concern for his side with an ankle complaint picked up during the semi-finals.
The Magpies kick-off at 11.45am.
In the other Newcastle and Hunter Rugby League deciders at Kurri Sportsground on Saturday it will be Windale up against Cardiff in A-grade (3.15pm), Tea Gardens meet the Cessnock Cutters in B-grade (1.30pm) while in D-grade Williamtown tackle Karuah (10am).
RAYMOND TERRACE MAGPIES
1 Billy Greentree; 2 Rob Fletcher; 3 Hayden McFadden; 4 Mitchell Turvey; 5 Pat Maloney; 6 Jarrod Marks; 7 Jeremy Fredericks; 8 Nathan Ward; 9 Josh Urquhart (c); 10 Dan Forbes; 11 Adam Jenkinson; 12 Barry Kennewell; 13 Luke Lidbury;