As far as tittles go, there's not much Maitland haven't won in the past four seasons. Two Newcastle Rugby League premierships, a couple of President's Cup trophies, and minor premiers in the COVID-affected season of 2021.
On Sunday, the Pickers will face their greatest challenge in that time, a red-hot St Mary's side in the final of the 2023 President's Cup.
That's according to coach Matt Lantry who said the Saints are going to test Maitland with their physicality and size.
St Mary's defeated Wentworthville 40-12 in the grand final of the Ron Massey Cup and finished minor premiers, six points clear of their nearest rival.
"I had a look at them on tape of their grand final, I also spoke with the Wentworthville coach actually just to try and pick his brain a little bit," Lantry said.
"The biggest challenge they posses is their physical presence and their size...if we don't complete our sets, have poor end of set finishes with our kicking game, any ill-discipline, they can really make you pay."
Maitland will be chasing a three-peat of cup titles on Sunday at Parramatta's CommBank Stadium.
The Pickers won the inaugural NSW Rugby League competition in 2020 (competition cancelled in 2021 due to COVID pandemic) and then again in 2022, defeating Hills Bulls 36-12.
After thrashing South Newcastle 46-10 in the Newcastle RL grand final on Saturday, September 2, the Pickers gained direct entry to the final after semi-final opponent Thirroul withdrew from the competition.
Like Sunday's opponents, Maitland haven't played a competitive match in three weeks but Lantry is not expecting match fitness to be a factor.
"It's the same for both teams which I'm happy about...I'm not concerned about our fitness it's probably just little things of timing and getting back into the groove of things can be a challenge," he said.
"But in a sense we haven't played a lot of footy in the last three months either, I think six games in 12 weeks so there's some challenges around that."
Forward Faitotoa Faitotoa will miss the match with a PCL tear while back rower Harrison Spruce is also out - on a pre-booked holiday. Lantry said Daniel Ticehurst and Joe Barber will join the 17 as replacements.
While disappointed the home match against Thirroul was cancelled, Lantry said the hot conditions on Saturday (34 degrees at kick-off) would have caused issues for his team and their recovery.
Temperatures are expected to drop down into the mid-20s by Saturday with the President's Cup clash one of three games on NSWRL grand final day.
After the Pickers battle St Mary's at 11am, fans can watch the Jersey Flegg grand final at 1pm and the NSW Cup decider at 3pm.
The coach admits motivation for the game has been a challenge for his side but expects excitement to increase as the game nears.
"There is an element of struggling to get a little bit of motivation, I think last week it was reflected in our training performances," Lantry said.
"I feel like there's more excitement this year than what there was last year, last year was a real challenge, we didn't get a week off, we played the grand final and we're on the bus to Parkes - it was sort of a little bit of a drag."
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