When Lebanese barber Sam Hasna emigrated to Australia 10 years ago, the NRL was his way into a foreign culture and a new way of life.
In Lebanon, he had played soccer occasionally, but this thrilling new sport was not at all like the round ball game.
"It was different. It's a hard game and they hit each other hard," Mr Hasna said.
A Canterbury Bulldogs player, Hazem el Masri, became his idol.
"I just fell in love with [the Bulldogs]."
Mr Hasna will whip himself and others into a football frenzy today ahead of the Bulldogs' grand final showdown against Melbourne Storm, tomorrow.
His friend, a butcher, has arranged a special order of blue-coloured sausages.
Mr Hasna will pair them with white bread, in homage to his team's colours, for a free community barbecue from his Oak Flats barber shop, Style with Sam, from 9am to midday.
Mr Hasna has tickets to tomorrow's game, and predicts a comfortable 13-point victory for the Bulldogs.
"I'm very confident," he said.
Fellow Bulldogs supporter Matthew "Jacko" Jackson is hoping for a far tighter victory. All the better to stoke his healthy rivalry with good friend and fellow North Wollongong Surf teammate Ben "Thommo" Thompson, a Melbourne Storm devotee.
Jacko will watch the game at Thommo's house in Mt Keira, after weeks of ribbing about who will need tissues. But whatever the result, they would still be mates afterwards, he said.