ORANGE City coach Steve Hamson said he expected his team to meet Dubbo Kangaroos in the Blowes Clothing Cup grand final.
The Lions will host the Roos in Saturday’s first grade decider after the Dubbo side downed defending premiers Parkes 28-8 in the preliminary final.
Orange City have already claimed the minor premiership and so far delivered an unbeaten record.
Hamson said his players know how important Saturday’s game is.
“Last year Emus beat us in every game bar the one that counted (the minor semi-final),” Hamson said.
“We don’t want that to happen to us this year.”
Throughout the season Hamson has said the Roos has been the team which has tested City the most.
In the season’s second round in Dubbo, City claimed a 17-5 win but it was tighter on the field that the score suggested.
Each team scored a try but Anthony Salmon’s four penalty goals helped the Lions to victory.
It was a different story in round 11 when the Roos pushed City all the way at Pride Park.
City came out on top 27-26 but both sides scored four tries.
Dubbo’s Joshua Dodd kicked three conversions but City’s Mesui Lemoto kicked two conversions and a penalty goal to give his side the one-point win.
The two sides met for a third time this season in the major semi-final where the Roos troubled the Lions.
However, Orange City lifted in key moments to take the win 29-18 and earn the right to host the grand final.
Now they will meet for the last time this season in the game that counts.
It might be the final chapter in what has been an extraordinary year for the Lions, but Hamson said it will be business as usual this week.
“We’ll just keep doing what we’ve done,” Hamson said.
“We’ll do a lot of running and not much contact. We’ve played two games in a month and you can lose a bit of match fitness so we want the boys to have running in their legs.”
Orange City will name their starting 15 later in the week with flanker Angus Brotherton to test his shoulder at training.
If Brotherton is not fit to play, Dan Johnson will start in the no.6 jumper.
Saturday’s grand final will be played at Pride Park with first grade kicking off at 3.15pm.