THE Tathra Sea Eagles are aiming to win their fourth successive premiership tomorrow.
It’s all on the line for the Eagles when they meet the Pambula Panthers in the Sapphire Coast AFL senior grand final at Berrambool Oval, Merimbula.
Last year, Tathra created SCAFL history by becoming the first side in the senior competition to win three titles in a row.
Victory tomorrow would confirm the club is in the middle of a dynasty.
The Eagles will start as warm favourites against Pambula after another dominant season, where the team is yet to lose a game.
However, it will count for nothing if the Panthers are able to conjure up a win.
Pambula earned its spot in the grand final with a tense five-point victory over the Merimbula Diggers last weekend, while the Eagles had a break.
The BDN spoke to Tathra playing-coach Luke Taylor on Wednesday, who was feeling very relaxed ahead of the big match.
Taylor said the team’s preparation had been going really well.
“We’ve had the week off to freshen up, everyone’s raring to go and we have a full list to choose from,” he said.
The Eagles head into the game on the back of 18 wins from as many starts in 2013.
Tathra has clearly been the dominant team in the competition, scoring more than three times as many points of its opponents.
When asked if the Eagles were favourites, Taylor said “there’s always pressure in grand finals, whether you’ve played in three in a row or this is your first”.
“There’s always pressure to perform on the big stage,” he said.
“I’ve reminded the boys that this is how players are remembered, so it’s all in front of us now.
“But we will have 16 premiership players running around, so we know what to do.”
These two sides have met three times this season, with the Eagles finishing victors each time.
Tathra was lucky to escape with a 19-point win in round three, but secured comfortable 48 and 103-point victories in the next two encounters.
In that third contest, the Eagles led by just 21 points at half time before keeping Pambula goalless for the last two terms.
Taylor said Tathra would look to lift its intensity in the opening minutes tomorrow.
“We will look to break Pambula open early,” he said.
“Pambula play a tough, contested brand of footy so we know what to expect.”
According to Taylor, the midfield battle would prove crucial in the decider.
Tathra captain Jason Ainsworth, who won the SCAFL senior best and fairest honour, will go head-to-head with the award’s runner-up Dusty Rogers.
Taylor said the Eagles will look to get their hands on the ball and allow quick entries inside the forward line, where dangerous trio Mitch May, Dean Gartside and Ryan O’Loghlin lurk.
According to Taylor, Tathra’s players had the “hunger and drive” to secure their fourth successive premiership.
“The hunger has ebbed and flowed throughout the year as we’ve continued to win, but now it’s finals time, you can see the change in the boys’ attitude.
“They’re all pretty excited,” he said.