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Vikings to call upon youth to support experience in John I Dent Cup grand final
Tuggeranong Vikings head coach Brad Harris has refused to concede his men's grand final experience will bring them the John I Dent Cup title on Saturday.
While just a third of his 22-man squad have not played in a grand final, Harris is expecting only an inspired effort from those players as well as their elders to carry them over the line at Viking Park.
And while they will be attempting a third straight premiership in their fourth straight grand final, Harris said that this will not be their incentive.
"In terms of the three-peat for us it's very much just about this year. Every year's a different team, different players, different coaching structure," he said.
"The one thing that that [fourth consecutive grand final] does is it gives some of our players experience in the big games, and that can help come crucial situations in the game."
"But again, we've had a pretty high turnover of players, so we'll be looking at those guys [without grand final experience] to bring some energy and hopefully get us across the line."
It will be a massive day for the club as a whole, which will also be competing in the colts, fourth grade and second grade grand finals in it's 40th jubilee year.
Harris gave his men a week off last week following their intense one point win over the Royals in the major semi-final, but has had them back in full flight at training this week.
They had a light training session on Saturday morning before staying at Viking Park to see the Royals dispatch the Queanbeyan Whites in another tense preliminary final encounter.
Harris said his men would have to execute well to win the premiership in what he expects to be a typical arm wrestle.
"The one thing they [Royals] do really well is they turn up and compete, and they win little effort areas around the field," said Harris.
"It was a terrific performance from them against a very good Queanbeyan side so we're expecting a similar performance from them this weekend."
Harris said his most experienced campaigners in James Proctor, Rodney Iona, Zack Holmes and Brumby Colby Fainga are good enough players to make the difference.
But skipper and MacDougal medallist Tim Cree said the Royals could be just as destructive.
"They've already beaten us once this year, so thats says it all," said Cree.
Royals coach Russell Ingram said the ability of the Vikings side would mean all 13 men will come into play.
"I wouldn't imagine that it's going to be a game of ten men rugby. I think you'll see the width of the paddock being used on the weekend," he said.
The day's action kicks off at 10:05am while the first grade blockbuster starts at 3:15pm.