Lithgow Storm's U16 side are on the right track to this year's junior rugby league grand final.
The side haven't lost a game all year and are aiming to make a comeback after losing last year's grand final, according to coach Ben Lane.
"We've had a couple close games this year but we've only actually lost two games in two years and one of those was the 2018 grand final.
"We played really well for most of last year but we didn't really handle our semi final very well because it rained and poured. CYMS played better.
"We bounced back the following week and beat Bloomfield to go meet CYMS at the grand final, but it was even at full time, we played 10 minutes of extra time, still even, so we played another 10 to get a result but CYMS ended up scoring a controversial try."
He said the team had its chances but could not capitalise on them.
"We were actually playing quite well but we bombed a few tries which cost us in the end," he said.
Lane said the plan this year was to do the opposite and fellow coaches Ross Harrington and Jason Nunan have been drumming it into the side.
"Our ultimate goal is to be in the grand final and win it, if we don't win it this year I think they'll be very disappointed," he said.
He said getting to the semi finals was a whole new competition regardless of how the teams travelled this season.
"We've clearly been the best team all year but we've still gotta win the grand final to get that on the trophy. I think what happened last year is still in the boys' minds so that's egging them on a bit and keeping them motivated," he said.
Lane also said being the last year for the side in the junior competition, many of the players would head into the senior level so he was keen to wrap the season up on a high.
"Once they head into the senior level it's a whole different ball game, so it would be nice to get the grand final this year plus the winner of the Group 10 grand final also gets the opportunity to play against the Group 11 U16s. It would be nice for us to get that victory but, we are not going to get too far ahead," he said.
He said having three coaches to run the team also worked well and they all shared the duty and it could be the underlying key to success.
"We work really well together, we always bounce ideas off each other we all look at the game differently too, with three sets of eyes you all spot different things, but we don't over complicate it, we keep it simple and let them play footy.
"I guess we'll find out if having three coaches is the key to success or not," he said.
Lane said the U16s had been training hard twice a week and played well together for a team that's been together for three years.
"They're a good bunch of kids. We've got 18 on the books and they all turn up to training. They all play pretty well together.
"We're a very fit side because we're not a very big side, we're concentrating on keeping them pretty fit and that's paid off at the moment," he said.
The side is headed to Cowra on Saturday, August 10 for their last round before semis but with alpine conditions forecast, Lane is concerned.
"Hopefully we get to play but it could be cancelled with snow predicted and if we don't play it could be nearly three weeks before we play again and that's a bit of a worry going into a semi final, but they are pretty fit and determined," he said.
With Storm finishing first, Lane said their likely to meet with CYMS for their first semi in Lithgow to be played in two weeks time.
"CYMS have got a couple of really good players and that's their strength but we're probably better across the board as a team, everyone does their job, knows their job and does it well.
"So, I don't know if having that week off in between will help or not, but we'll be training very hard," he said.
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