North Wagga reserve grade coach Dave Karlberg had his first taste of losing a grand final last year. Needless to say, he didn't like it.
"Most of the blokes played last year and we were that bloody dirty when we got beaten... We don't want that same feeling this year," Karlberg said.
The Saints fell over in all three football grand finals against Marrar, and he's desperate to kick the day off on the right note against East Wagga-Kooringal, as the Saints go head-to-head with the Hawks in reserve grade as well as seniors.
"It would ease that little bit of voodoo we had last year when the 17s got done, then we got done and there was a roll-on into first grade," Karlberg said.
"Hopefully we can shake it off this year, chalk one up ourselves and then the firsts chalk one up."
But what happened 12 months ago isn't as important as two weeks back, when North Wagga, the reserve grade minor premiers, lost just their second game all year - and badly.
Having beaten EWK twice during the year, North Wagga were thumped by 56 points, and kept to just one goal.
"We had the wood on them during the year then in the finals, they've had a full strength side in first grade and second grade and it threw us off guard. We thought we'd roll in there and get it done and they come out and smashed us," Karlberg said.
The coach says they'll front up with a different side, and attitude.
"It's going to be a different game," Karlberg said. "I've mixed a few things up and I'm confident we're going to match them with everything they've got and hopefully raze them at the end of the game.
"Their pressure around the ball last time was really good all day. We were second to the footy and I think when it got a bit hard, we threw in the towel and gave up on it a bit.
"But we come back last week and got the fire back in our win against The Rock."
The Magpies were the only team to beat North Wagga in the home and away season, which only added to the confidence the Saints took out of last week's five-point win.
Karlberg said hard-ball winners Tom Gaynor and Tom Pattison will set the tone for their side on Saturday.
"Those two in the middle, if they're on the bottom of every pack at every contest, we're a real good chance of winning the game," he said.
"It's a barometer for us. If they're quiet, a few young blokes go quiet but if they're getting it out to our runners, everyone's confidence goes up."
Karlberg, who won three senior flags at Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong before coming to North Wagga, has loved what youngster Isaac Crouch has brought on half-back.
"I've loved playing with a few of young fellas, like Isaac Crouch. He's going to be a genuine first grader in the next few years. Across half-back, or anywhere you play him, he goes in really hard and we can use him anywhere," he said.
For the Hawks, he said a mix of old and young hurt last time with EWK's former coach Luke Adams damaging in the midfield and youngster Callum Polsen opening up the Saints.
Getting on top in the middle to cut off the supply to Tex Gillard (six goals in the semi-final) is the key for North Wagga.
"If we can nullify their ability to win the footy and run it into the forward line to big Tex, hopefully it'll spray their kicks a bit and help our backs have a chance to cut it off," Karlberg said.