You could the say the rebuild for Orange City's under-13s outfit is going quite well.
Going from what coach Deryk Ward said would be "a rebuilding year" to a home grand final was something he wasn't expecting from 2019, pulling together players from all different backgrounds for season 2019.
They'll run out on Saturday at Pride Park in a blockbuster Central West Junior Rugby Union grand final against Orange Emus and boy will they be pumped.
"They've all been terrific, they've just had a great year," Ward said.
It's not about you're a girl, you're a boy, it's about the camaraderie.Orange City under-13s coach Deryk Ward
"I thought I'd just have a rebuilding year and teach them a few things but they've had a tremendous season."
Players of all stripes have lined up in the orange and green this season, with six Kinross students moving their winter sport selection to soccer to make availability for union work, while Jimmy Rudd had jumped across from Blayney.
Seven girls lined up for the Lions across the year, which Ward said hadn't been an issue or even questioned by his players.
"It's not about you're a girl, you're a boy, it's about the camaraderie," he said.
Lily Bone and Ward's daughter Trix are two the side's better players starting at No.7 and No.6 respectively.
It's been a badly-needed grand final appearance from the club, with the first grade side winning just the one game in two years, but the Lions had come together during the junior finals.
The under-13s and under-17s have been doing joint warm-ups, with a touch game kicking off training on Tuesday.
The touch game was an exercise Ward said his troops loved throughout 2019, and brought the club together.
"We always do fitness or something like this because the younger kids get to meet the older kids and Thursday a lot of the first graders show up and help us train which is really good," he said.
"Even though it's not been a good year for them on the paddock, it has been a really good vibe for us."
Ward has previously showered praise on senior coach Viv Paasi for his work across the whole club, and he's been a consistent presence across finals season for the Lions' juniors.
Ward's also stoked the decider will be against Emus with the rivalry great for rugby in Orange and said it will be a hard-fought game, but he's hoping to ensure his charges are roaring to go.
"Shivers yeah, we've played them twice in the competition in two rounds, we won one and they won one and then we got them 24-17 in the major semi-final," he said.
"They'll be very tough on the weekend.
"I'm just trying to keep them relaxed and get them to enjoy themselves."
The grand final begins at 9am Saturday at Pride Park.
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