It's going to be a busy weekend for the Ford family from Gerringong.
On Saturday the Fords will be in New Zealand to watch their son Jackson Ford play for the Warriors in a NRL elimination final against the Newcastle Knights.
The next day they will return to Australia to watch their eldest son Nathan Ford try to win his sixth Group Seven rugby league grand final with the Gerringong Lions.
But to do so the Lions will have to beat a Shellharbour Sharks side which heads into Sunday's decider at Centenary Field, having won 13 of their last 15 games.
One of the Sharks best players during this run has been their skipper James Ralphs, who is among the favourites to win the Michael Cronin Medal for player-of-the-year.
The experienced second-rower would welcome such an honour but stressed his goal was to win another Group Seven title, having been part of the Shellharbour side which won the competition in 2018.
"Being a football player, these types of personal accolades are always in the back of your mind. But to be honest with you, without a good team around you, you can't win them type of medals. The individual medals are hard to come by if the team doesn't get around you and the team environment is not good," Ralphs said.
"I've been fortunate to play outside Emanuel Sultana. He makes my life easier as a second rower. I just know that he's gonna give me the ball in the right spots.
"If you don't have that, then I don't have the season I've had.
"But I'm not really thinking about it, if it comes, it comes, but I know what I wanna do and that's to win a competition on Sunday."
Ralphs, who has played in the lower grades for the Canterbury Bulldogs, is in his second stint with the Sharks after returning to the club last year following a couple of years at Dapto Canaries under the coaching of Chris Leikvoll.
Feeling fitter than ever and relishing playing alongside talented youngsters such as Ethan O'Connell and Jacob Seabrook, the 30-year-old has enjoyed one of his best seasons, crossing for 12 tries during the regular season, including one in the finals so far.
Ralphs though said success in the grand final would come from a solid team performance led by O'Connell, Seabrook and fellow young guns Isaac Morris, Sultana and Braxton Wallace.
"I feel both teams are pretty evenly matched. I think it's just gonna come down to a few individual players personally," he said.
'Gerringong are a very quick, very young, very sprite team. We're more I'd say a physically defensive team but I think in the end it's going to come down to who ices their chances and who defends well on the day."
Results this year between the two teams suggest the grand final could go down to the wire.
The Lions prevailed 13-6 in their first meeting this season but the Sharks got revenge with a 14-12 triumph later in the campaign.
Gerringong though got the better of the Sharks 24-10 in the semifinals. Ralphs missed that match due to HIA protocols, as did his Lions counterpart Nathan Ford.
Ford has been one of the best players in the league for a number of years, with many in the game surprised the talented hooker has never won a Michael Cronin Medal.
But while this individual honour has eluded him, Ford has enjoyed plenty of team success with his beloved Lions.
In his first year in first grade the creative dummy-half was part of a Gerringong team which won the Group Seven grand final in 2010.
More titles followed for the Lions in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2020. Gerringong fell at the final hurdle in 2022, beaten in the decider by Warilla-Lake South Gorillas.
Ford is hoping to add another title in his 13th season in the top grade.
"It's good to be back in another grand final. This is our second one in a row. Hopefully we can get the win this year," he said
Despite losing some experienced players heading into this season, Ford was not surprised the Lions still managed to enjoy success in 2023.
"I think [success] all comes down to the way the club looks after its players," he said.
"We've got a strong group of guys that have been there for a long time and we also have got a really strong junior base down here, and they seem to all want to play for the senior club.
"So there's a willingness for players to want to play for the club. Everyone wants to be here. We don't really go looking for any players. We've got players that have grown up together and want to play together.
"I think that is the best part of our club."
Ford said personal medals would be nice, but at this stage of his career, his focus was on winning a sixth grand final with Gerringong.
"A Michael Cronin Medal would be nice but I don't think that's going to be a thing for me at this point in my career, but another premiership is a possibility.
"Having five already, six would be really nice, with a great group of guys this year."
Like his Sharks counterpart Ralphs, Ford is expecting an extremely tough and tight contest on Sunday.
"It's always tight against Shellharbour. They're always a good quality team. It will be tight but you wouldn't want a grand final any different. I think it will come down to the last 10-15 minutes to see who comes out on top."
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.