RELATED COVERAGE: Feeling the heat
TTU was welcomed back to finals footy with a drubbing at the hands of Glengarry and will need to set aside its nerves against Rosedale.
The Blues come into the knockout final having won three straight matches, including a convincing 31-point win in the elimination final.
As was the case in 2010, Rosedale will have to navigate the long path to make a second straight grand final.
Wary of the Bombers, Rosedale coach Nick Leechino said this Sunday was “all or nothing”.
“TTU have been the form side of the competition for a big part of the year and will be up and about ready to go on Sunday,” he said.
“Like us they know that there are no second chances; we have known that and had to play as though each week is our last for a number of matches, it’s do or die now.”
While disappointed with his side’s third term wastefulness last Sunday, the Blues’ seven-goal-to-two final term pleased the coach.
“It was good to have a strong last quarter, it will put as in good stead heading into the match this week,” Leechino said.
The Blues avenged their early season 10 goal loss to the Bombers with a 28-point victory in round 12.
“Second time around we played good contested footy and made them more accountable, first time around it was a weekend we would rather forget,” Leechino said.
“Like us TTU have a pretty good midfield, they have plenty of good running players which will match up well against our engine room, I am expecting the contest to be a real arm wrestle.”
A number of deciding contests around the ground could be the difference come the final siren. The Blues’ back six is one of the best in the competition and generates plenty of run off half-back.
The side’s small forwards are effective and compliment the tall timber which proved a key difference in the elimination final.
“We are lucky to have a pretty big forward line, however it’s one thing to have a strong forward structure but what’s more important is the run and delivery from the midfield and further up the ground and how they deliver it into the forwards,” Leechino said.
After failing to fire last Saturday the Bombers forwards will need to rise to the occasion to post a match winning score against an opponent which appears poised to advance to a preliminary final berth.