KENDALL could be the first team into the Hastings League decider with a victory over Comboyne in the major semi-final on Saturday.
The Blues will feel they have some unfinished business after the Tigers claimed the premiership with a 29-26 grand final win last year.
Both teams have arguably been the most consistent performers over the course of the season, with honours shared in the two previous encounters.
In what shapes as an enthralling semi-final, the Tigers raced out to a 28-0 lead at half-time at Kendall earlier in the season.
Despite a much-improved second-half performance from the Blues, Comboyne held on to register a 28-18 win.
Kendall hit back a few weeks later with a 28-14 win at Comboyne.
Blues captain Beau Kettle said his side learned more about their loss than they did about the 14-point win a fortnight ago.
“We learnt you can’t start slow against them,” he said.
“We didn’t turn up and it was our home game and they blitzed us in the first half 28-0 and we got it together at half-time, (but it was too late).”
They’re the top of the competition and that’s what we’ve been striving for all year.Kendall Blues captain Beau Kettle
Kettle expected a tough match with the result to hang in the balance until late.
“It’s good to play them,” he said.
“They’re the top of the competition and that’s what we’ve been striving for all year.
“They put it all together last week so we know what we’ve got to work on, we’re not getting too far ahead of ourselves.”
The Blues should have almost everyone available – a far cry from a month ago when they struggled to field numbers on the bench.
“We pretty much have got everyone back this weekend,” he said.
“Kurt Cook is back and we should be putting five on the bench. At Lower Macleay we were down to none on the bench.”
Kettle said he had enjoyed the captain-coach role of a small town club who he felt had some of the best supporters in the competition.
“I captained Wauchope last year, but being captain-coach of a small town side where their following is unbelievable – I’m enjoying my footy now,” he said.
“They love their football out there and we get supporters come down to training so it’s a good feeling and it doesn’t matter where we go there’s always a bunch of Kendall supporters there.”
I captained Wauchope last year, but being captain-coach of a small town side where their following is unbelievable – I’m enjoying my footy now.Beau Kettle
Dean and Todd Hurrell hold the key to the Blues progressing as the first team to the season decider in two weeks.
“They’re top class players who know how to read the game better than anyone else.”
The game kicks off at 3pm at Lank Bain Sports Complex.