THERE'S a sense of deja vu about this year's Group Seven first grade grand final between Jamberoo and Kiama.
Wind back to 2017 and both teams were preparing to lock horns in an attempt to end their own respective premiership droughts.
As most know, September 17, 2017 was the day the Superoos ended 43 years of misery, by downing their local rivals 18-14 in the decider to win the Artie Smith Cup.
Since then, the Knights have gone on to lose another grand final to Shellharbour, seeing their premiership drought stretch out to 34 years.
But all that will mean very little when the two clubs run onto the Collegians Sporting Complex from 4pm on Sunday.
The first of the two sides into this year's big dance was Jono Dallas' Superoos, who downed the Sharks 20-10 in the qualifying final.
"I'm really comfortable with our path to the grand final," captain/coach Dallas said.
"In 2017, we played one game in three weeks and although we got the result we wanted, I thought we started a little slow that day.
"So with two tough finals under our belts, followed by a freshen up week, I don't think our preparation could have been much better - I'm hoping that extra game in the lead up to the decider can help with our fluency form the start."
In the pair's two meetings this season, there has been a draw and a win by the Superoos but Dallas knows grand finals are all about what happens on the day.
"Grand finals are all about who plays better on the day and not about who's carrying in certain form," he said.
"The main thing is to make sure your own backyard is in order because that's one of the things you can control - there's no point worrying about the things you can't.
"I'm confident everyone is in the right frame of mind and headspace to produce their best footy on Sunday."
A large part of the Superoos continued success over the past four years has been their ability to keep their core together - including Dallas, Asquith brothers Mark, Luke and James, Ben Barnard, Corey Grigg, Matt Webster, James Gilmore and Brendan Smith.
"We've been really lucky over the past couple of years to keep our core - largely local juniors - together and build around them while bringing in the odd player here and there," Dallas said.
"As such, we have five guys in our side [Kurt Field, Kyle Stone, Brock Skelly, Simon Maslanka and Kieran Pearce] who weren't part of the premiership side.
"There's no better feeling than winning a premiership with your home club and alongside your best mates - although we experienced the win on 2017, the drive is as strong as ever to do it again on Sunday, especially for those five guys who weren't there last time.
"Another premiership would mean the world the club and I know all the boys can't wait to rip in."
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On the flipside are Kieran Poole's Knights, who edged Shellharbour on Sunday at Cec Glenholmes Oval, to chalk up their eighth straight win - stemming back from a tough loss at the Kiama Showground on July 7 (24-20).
"That loss against Warilla was the real turning point in our season - it was pretty much do or die for us from that point on," Poole said.
"We couldn't afford any more losses, as it looked like we could even miss out on playing finals, let alone making the grand final.
"So after getting a deserved spray by coach Matt Clarke and sitting down and having an honest chat, all the boys re-focused on the opportunity in front of us."
On top of the heart to heart, coach Clarke made two significant positional changes - swapping the positions of backrower Poole and lock Toby Nobes as well as fullback Tom Atkins and five-eighth Dylan Morris.
"Since that chat and those changes, we've been clicking on all cylinders and I think we've peaked at the right time," Poole said.
"The catalyst for this has been our defence.
"Assistant coach Marc Laird highlighted the fact we were leaking more than 20 points a game through the first part of the season, with a lot of them coming towards the back end of games.
"But during this winning streak, we're only conceding close to 10 points a contest."
Poole acknowledges his Knights will need that type of defence on Sunday, as well as a high completion rate.
"Cam Vazzoler has one of the best kicking games in the competition, so we have to utilise that by completing our sets," he said.
"That, in turn, builds pressure and creates fatigue in the opposition - we really need to go set for set with them and not give them any easy opportunities.
"With Brock Skelly, Jono Dallas and Mark Asquith running the show for them, they will be patient, try and grind us down and then strike with their width - it's going to be up to us to absorb that."
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The Knights skipper, who's been playing for the club more for more than 20 years, admits the past two grand final defeat has prepared his troops for Sunday's decider - which will be made all the more special if they do win.
"Those two losses will ensure we aren't overawed by the occasion," Poole said.
"In the first one against Jamberoo, we were all just excited to be there and didn't play the full 80 minutes which hurt us, as they scored late.
"Then last year, we got off to a shocking start and let Shellharbour run away with it.
"We all know what's at stake - it's a chance to end the title drought and etch our names' in history.
"And to have the chance to captain this club to a premiership is unbelievable and something I've always wanted to do, ever since I pulled on my first Kiama jersey at age eight - it would be a dream come true."
The first grade fixture at 4pm will culminate an exciting day of football at Collegians Sporting Complex.
The day will start with the WLT2 clash between Shellharbour and Jamberoo at 8.30am, before the WLT1 at 9.50am (Kiama and Jamberoo), third grade at 11.15am (Mount Warrigal and Susex Inlet), under 18s at 12.50pm (Warilla-Lake South and Albion Park-Oak Flats) and reserve grade at 2.15pm (Albion Park-Oak Flats and Gerringong).