Rugby is more than statistics but sometimes the numbers don't lie.
There are a host of numbers and statistics that Avondale have to buck heading into their Illawarra rugby union grand final showdown against reigning premiers Shoalhaven on Saturday at Collegians Sports Centre.
The biggest number is 406, that's how many days it's been since Shoalhaven last lost a competitive rugby match.
The Wombats to their credit were the last side to beat Shoals back on July 30, 2022, but since then Will Miller's all-conquering side has won 23 games on the bounce.
In the last two seasons Shoalies have won 34 of 35 games, one of those victories was a grand final triumph over the Joe-Aiona-coached Avondale.
This year the champions have won all three games against Avondale, including a 42-19 win two weeks ago to qualify for the grand final.
The number three is also how many Brandon brothers have caused problems for the Wombats time and time again.
These last two statistics aren't lost on Aiona, who nevertheless said his chargers were looking forward to the challenge of trying to beat a champion side chasing a second successive title.
"The boys are pretty pumped, it's a grand final game, everyone gets excited for it including us coaches," Aiona said.
"We are playing a champion side who we have yet to beat this year in our three games, so it's a big challenge.
"We've got to find a way and just be better and match them and stay in the fight."
Aiona confirmed his team would try to implement a special plan to try and curtail the "dangerous" Brandon brothers, Steven, Keiran and Mark, and equally impressive fly-half Harri Hibbs.
Mark Brandon capped his tremendous season by finishing runner-up in the player-of-the-year race to Kiama skipper Paul Asquith.
His sibling Keiran showed his class in his last outing against Avondale, bagging a hat-trick of tries in Shoals 42-19 victory, while eldest brother Steven is the conductor at the back, organising attacking raid after attacking raid.
"It's like these brothers and Harri Hibbs are playing in their backyard, they throw the ball around and make everything look so easy," Aiona said.
"We just got to keep the ball away from these boys. I think that's how we beat them before, minimising the time they had ball in hand.
"That's easier said than done but that comes from being and playing smarter, especially with our kicking game.
"At the end of the day we just have to be better than we were in the previous three games that we played against them.
"We've just got to stay in the fight, we can't play a 30 or a 40-minute game against them, nothing short of a quality 80-minute performance will do to beat a great side like Shoalhaven."
His counterpart, Shoals-player/coach Will Miller, is set to start in the grand final despite limping off with a hamstring injury early in his team's last-start win against the Wombats two weeks ago.
Miller, the freshly minted Illawarra District Rugby Union coach of the year, told the Mercury he would start the decider and play as much as he can to try and help Shoals finish the season with another title.
"It's pretty tight but I will be alright, I'm just going go out and play as hard and as long as I can and we've got players there that can come on for me if need be, so that's fine," he said.
"The rest of the team looks really good and they're really excited.
"It's another big occasion for the club and for the players. I was looking at it the other day, I think there's six or seven different players in the starting team from last year's starting team.
"We've got some new players and staff that are very excited to be involved, which adds to the occasion."
Miller acknowledged his team took a lot of confidence from its successful run to date but stressed it would count for little if they fell at the last hurdle against a very good Avondale side.
"I think it's always good to have that belief behind us that we've been able to meet all our challenges. But at the same time it's another game and you can't be complacent with that and just happy to rest on that," he said.
"I think we've got to keep going forward. They're going to be pretty fired up and very keen to knock us off.
"I reckon it's gonna be a cracking game and it's going to be a pretty tough one.
"It's one that I'm sure our boys will all be up for and I know they will be too."
The grand final at Collegians Sports Centre on Saturday, September 9 kicks-of at 3pm.
Our news app has had a makeover, making it faster and giving you access to even more great content.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.