ILLAWARRA COAL LEAGUE
Helensburgh Tigers fans are expected to come out of the woodwork and make the trip to Wollongong for tomorrow's major semi-final against Collegians.
The Tigers will be represented in both Coal Shield and reserve grade before locking horns with the minor premiers in the top grade at 3pm.
Helensburgh haven't reached grand finals in three grades since 1993.
"It's going to be a good day for our club," Tigers coach Ben Haran said.
The Tigers advanced to tomorrow's clash with last week's come-from-behind win over Thirroul in the qualifying final.
Centre James Newman has been named to start in the centres in place of Maehe Reweti, who injured his shoulder last week.
Helensburgh failed miserably at two attempts to conquer the Dogs during the regular season, going down 32-6 in round three and 48-8 in round 10.
But they have won their past five games and like their chances in a third-time-lucky scenario.
"We know we have to play better than the last couple of times we played them," Haran said.
Tigers captain Steve McCallum insisted the previous meetings with Collies had not left the Tigers psychologically scarred.
"We're quietly confident we're a different team now," the hard-working lock said.
"We're confident with the game plan we'll go in with. It's a massive opportunity for us and we're excited about the prospect of playing in a grand final.
Collies coach Scott Logan named a 17-man side earlier in the week but it might not be the one that runs out tomorrow.
"I'm not going to divulge my line-up on the eve of the game, but we've had a good week training and we've got a decent, healthy squad," Logan said.
The Dogs warmed up for their finals campaign with a 54-18 pummelling of Wests a fortnight ago.
Logan was a spectator at last week's qualifying final and feels he got a good read on the Tigers' tendencies.
"It was more of an opportunity just to have a look at their ins and outs from the last time we played them, because their lineup was a little bit different," he said.
The Burgh play Thirroul in reserve grade at 1.30pm and Corrimal in Coal Shield at 12pm. The under 18 clash between Shellharbour and Wests kicks off at 10.30am.