The finals are well and truly here, just as Inverell coach Hayden Chappel.
The Saints kept their season alive with a 11.19 (85) to 9.8 (62) over the Tamworth Kangaroos on Saturday and the match was even closer than the scoreline suggests.
“It was a pretty tough game for the whole four quarters,” Chappel said.
“It was certainly up a level compared to the home and away season.
“The intensity around the contest, the attack on the football and there was probably not as many errors around the field.”
For the first time this year, the Saints were able to put their full midfield onto the paddock and that was the difference between Inverell and Tamworth, according to Chappel.
“I felt we had a bit of an edge in the midfield,” he said.
“We rotated five or six midfielders, who had a few bigger bodies, and that gave us an edge.
“That’s been the plan for the whole year but we haven’t been able to achieve that with people being away and whatnot.
“Yesterday was the first time we had our best 22 on the park together.”
The next mountain for Inverell to climb is that of New England.
The two sides clash next weekend for a spot in the grand final against Gunnedah.
“We take a lot of confidence out of yesterday’s win and the last time we played the Nomads but we understand they're a really strong and finals-hardened outfit,” Chappel said.
“Especially at Armidale, we know it’s going to be tough.”