There are two certainties in life according to the old adage - death and taxes.
If there were a third, it would be that the Kurri Bulldogs will come out breathing fire and try to steamroll Maitland's forwards whenever they meet - as they do at Kurri on Saturday.
It's a tactic that has worked time and again over the years, the most recent example when they out-muscled Maitland in last season's elimination semi final at Maitland Sportsground and ran out easy winners.
One year on it's hard to think Kurri coach Ron Griffiths will feel the need to change, especially on a ground that is a real hoodoo venue for Maitland.
"I can't recall the last time we beat them there," Pickers president Frank Lawler said. "It was certainly a while back.
"But knowing they're going to be aggressive and pumped up in front of their home crowd, and being able to do something about it, are two different things.
"Their halves are clever too, and they have dangerous players out wide. They're a strong side."
Things have changed though since the last time they met. Both sides have new faces and Maitland go in with two wins from three games. The Bulldogs are coming off a tight loss against Cessnock and have just one win from three.
"I can't recall the last time we beat them there ... it was certainly a while backPickers president Frank Lawler
"Somehow form doesn't count for much with these matches," Lawler acknowledged. "Our wins haven't been pretty, but we only played one trial match and were probably a bit light-on when the season started. We're still settling in."
With a big effort needed up the middle, the heat will be on props Sam Anderson and Jayden Butterfield, and classy back-rower Brenton Horwood, to lead the way.
The other key roles will be Pickers halves, Fraser Price and Tyler Perrin, who have stepped up to the job of steering their side around.
"It's their first season at it, and it's a big job.
"Last season we had hooker Adam Clydesdale helping take some pressure off in that regard, but he's not there now, so it's a big ask for young players.
"They're growing into it though."
The other Coalfields team, Cessnock will play away against Central on Saturday. It promises to be a tight affair with both sides having a 1-2 record.