Entering the unknown
AUSTRALIAN RULES FOOTBALL: Boasting the second highest goal scorer in the AFL Darling Downs senior men's competition, the South Burnett Saints have the armoury to be finals contenders.
Saints' forward pocket Carl Stevenson kicked 57 goals in his last 14 games.
With an average of four goals a game Stevenson has been a valuable asset for the Saints, which will step into new territory at the weekend.
The elimination final against the Goondiwindi Hawks on Saturday will mark the first time the Saints will compete against last year's first division squads in the finals.
Stevenson said everyone in the Saints' camp shared an overall sense of excitement despite the men's 15.14.104-13.17.95 loss against the Toowoomba Tigers last Saturday.
"They (the Tigers) didn't have anything to lose, they wanted to end with a bit of pride,” he said.
As the Tigers were not able to make the AFL Darling Downs Pickford Cup finals, Stevenson said Toowoomba stepped up a gear and proved a good contest for the Saints.
Coming off the back of a 121 point thrashing by second place Coolaroo the week before, Stevenson said the final fixture round was always going to be tough.
"We were coming off the back of a thumping,” he said.
With the thumping out of the Saints' system they looked hyped up to be in the finals in Tuesday's training session as they honed in how to move up to the next stage of the competition.
The Saints will take on the Hawks for just the second time this season.
In round 11 the Saints claimed an 18.15.123-11.11.77 in Kingaroy.
It was a close encounter after the Hawks matched the Saints' intensity for most of the game.
The Saints were only able to secure the win in the final quarter and scored seven majors to the Hawks' three.
Stevenson claimed six goals in the mid-season clash and will look to do so again at the weekend.
But with Saturday's game an elimination round Stevenson noted the pressure underlying it.
"It makes it do or die,” he said.
"Every player has got to turn up on the day.
"We want our best 22 out on the park.”
As the Saints finished fourth on the ladder just above the Hawks in fifth after a points difference, a home game was secured.
The Saints v Hawks game kicks of at Kingaroy's Lyle Vidler Oval at 1.50pm on Saturday.