SOUTH COAST AFL
The past two grand finals have been contested by South Coast AFL's greatest and Kiama and Wollongong Bulldogs meet for a third straight year in the premiership decider, at North Dalton Park this afternoon.
Kiama are into their fourth grand final in five years, while the Bulldogs have made the premiership decider all four seasons since joining first grade in 2010.
Kiama beat Wollongong in 2011 with a never-to-be-forgotten after-the-siren goal, while last year the Bulldogs turned the tables, coming from behind at three-quarter time to clinch their maiden top grade flag.
The Dogs and Power enjoyed a win over each other in the regular season, while Kiama finished too strong in the qualifying final a fortnight ago.
Kiama coach Rod Richards and his Wollongong counterpart Lee Murray agree there's little between the clubs.
"It should be another close one," Murray said.
"At three-quarter-time we'll need to be even or just ahead because we know Kiama are strong finishers.
"It's going to come down to putting in another huge effort and willing ourselves to get over the line."
Richards believes the difference could be which team can execute under pressure.
"It'll probably come down to clean disposals, making the right decisions, spotting targets and hitting them," Richards said.
"Injuries have played a part in big games between us and that could be huge as well. We know it's going to be intense but when opportunities present you have to take advantage."
Wollongong put aside the grand final disappointment of 2010 and 2011 to storm home last year, but with half a side of new players in 2013, it's a much different outfit.
"We were a big scoring side but this team's more defensively driven," Murray said.
"We have to get our structures right. A free-scoring game probably suits Kiama, so we've really got to do a good job defensively."
Ironically, the Bulldogs have the competition's leading goal-kicker in full forward Andrew Barned.
Richards is wary of Barned but reckons he has some defensive weapons of his own.
"Alex Perger and Josh Walton are excellent down back for us. I rate Walton the best defender in the comp, so I think we're in good shape defensively."
Meanwhile, Wollongong's extra-time defeat to Albatross in the reserve grade preliminary final means for the first time since 2010, the Bulldogs won't have both their teams in the grand final.
Albatross take on Port Kembla Blacks in the reserve grade grand final from 11.45am.
First bounce in first grade is 2.10pm.