KILDARE Catholic College coach Jackie Byrne knows better than to look too far ahead.
But she admits Tuesday's gritty 21-16 win over Mater Dei Catholic College in the Tracey Gunson Shield grand final rematch gives them belief the competition heavyweights can be toppled this year.
Mater Dei is gunning for a sixth straight title, and will look to bounce back in Thursday's semi finals against Kooringal High School, who qualified with a 47-16 win over Wagga Wagga Catholic College on Tuesday.
Kildare will take on The Riverina Anglican College for a spot in next Thursday's grand final.
After losing the past three finals to Mater Dei, Byrne said the win has removed any mental doubts her players may have had of their ability to beat the benchmark team.
"It definitely gives us the belief we can do it, the combinations we tried worked quite well," Byrne said.
"It was a tight match with a lot of big defensive efforts from both teams," Lilly Buchanan in particular was awesome for us at goal keeper.
"Definitely it gives us some confidence, but we were in a similar position last year where we won all our round games and semi then lost the final, so we're not looking ahead.
"TRAC will be a very tough game and potentially they could knock us off.
"I've coached the team for ten years without success, and every year I hope it's going to be our year. Three years ago we lost (the final) in double extra time, that was pretty heartbreaking."
The year seven-eight division semis pit TRAC against Mater Dei, while Wagga High takes on Kildare.
All semi finals get underway at the Equex Centre at 4.15pm today, with grand finals scheduled for Thursday, May 30.
Byrne said her players' experience against seasoned players in first grade competitions this year had been ideal preparation for Kildare's campaign.
"We're very fortunate all our girls play first grade, whether it's the Wagga Wednesday night comp or one of the football leagues (Farrer and Riverina)," she said.
"It makes it difficult to work out who's going to be off because they're all quality players."