Winning a major semi-final clash without two of your best players is no easy feat.
And even though Heidi Regan and Em McDonald were missing from Vipers' line-up leading into Saturday's elimination semi-final clash against Panorama Platypi, the girls from Orange got the job done, overcoming a razor close first half to run away with the match 22-8.
With the win, Marty Lyden's girls booked themselves a spot in the Western Women Rugby League decider against Goannas next Sunday at Pride Park.
But it was almost not to be, front rower Lexi Mackenzie described her side's start to the grand final qualifier as unusually slow.
"I feel like at the start of the game we struggled to find our feet a bit," Mackenzie said.
We really wanted to win on the weekend for those girls so it was a bit of motivation for us to get back to the grand final.Lexi Mackenzie
"In the second half our feet started working and it all came together."
Even though the loss of two key ladies has the potential to cripple a side, Mackenzie says the outfit used it as motivation to get past their adversaries on the weekend.
"But, we also really wanted to win on the weekend for those girls so it was a bit of motivation for us to get back to the grand final," she added.
Vipers leaked just eight points on Saturday but the prop still thinks tackling is the area that needs improvement the most.
"It's our defence we need to improve," she said. "If we can do that, our attack comes good from that ... it's about communication for us in defence."
Whether it's attack or defence, Mackenzie is always setting herself some small goals in the lead-up to each match and will look to do the same for the grand final against Wiradjuri Goannas.
"In the first game I missed a few few tackles so then I made a goal to defend better," she said.
"I've got goals to run harder, too. I give myself a little one every week and try to improve that way."
The clash against Wiradjuri will be the second meeting this year as the Vipers took them out 20-16 back in round three, a result that was considered by many as a boilover.
And while Vipers will welcome back Western representative Regan for the tilt, it's still going to be their toughest match of the year by far.
The Goannas find themselves in the grand final after taking out Woodbridge 28-20 in Sunday's elimination final.
Goal kicking was again crucial to the outcome as Woodbridge missed several make-able kicks, while Wiradjuri's Tori Canham slotted home a few tricky ones which proved the difference on the scoreboard.
The loss spells the end to what's been a sensational campaign for Andrew Pull's ladies, especially due to the fact that they were winless for two seasons after the inception of the competition.
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