INVERELL coach Dave Kearsey loves this time of year although this year it comes with a little more stress.
Kearsey has a bit more to worry about today than just his job on the field.
There’s things like game plans to work out and all that goes with coaching.
Still he’s just as excited about the finals as he has been in previous years.
“It’s something we’ve worked for all year,” he said.
“Now it’s right here in front of us we’ve got to take the opportunity with two hands.”
They can earn a home grand final but have got their work cut out.
“Walcha are a very good side,” Kearsey said.
“They’ve got players like Simon Newton in their side who know how to win finals games.”
He said one thing they’ve got to be watchful of is the Rams’ ability to quickly change the point of attack.
“Walcha are a side that can damage you through the middle and quickly spread the ball wide,” he said.
“We need to keep our eyes up in defence.”
There has been nothing between the two sides this season and, even while they took the points in their last meeting, there isn’t any reason for the Highlanders to be overconfident.
“I still feel we were lucky to get away with the win last time we played,” Kearsey said.
Then they outscored the Rams in the second half to win but, having watched the video, Kearsey conceded they were a bit lucky.
“We kept them scoreless in the second half but we nearly let them in on two or three occasions,” he said.
He said it would be a game that every minute of the 80 counts.
That has been a big focus for the Highlanders.
“We’ve had a few games this year where we haven’t played rugby until the second half,” Kearsey said.
“In finals you have to play two halves.”
He and a few of the senior players have spoken to the players about finals football and what is required.
“When you play a side in these finals games you’ve got to forget the results through the year,” he said.
“And all 15 players have to win the physical contest.”
Kearsey is satisfied with where they are at heading in.
“I feel coming into the finals we are a very complete side,” he said.
“All of our moves are clinical now. We’re in as good a position as we can be.”