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Tigers, Roos rivalry to reignite in grand final

CRUNCH: Roos' Josh Norman squeezed by Tigers duo Lauchie Cameron and Peter Trompf.
CRUNCH: Roos' Josh Norman squeezed by Tigers duo Lauchie Cameron and Peter Trompf. John McCutcheon

AUSTRALIAN RULES: Noosa full forward Ryan Jeffery expects his team's rivalry with Maroochydore to be as intense as ever on Saturday, when the sides collide in a grand final.

There's plenty at stake, with the Tigers seeking their first title since 2011 while the Roos are determined not to finish runner-up for the third straight season.

But there's also all-important bragging rights to be claimed when the traditional cross-Coast rivals collide in south-east Queensland's division one decider.

Jeffery is braced for a torrid outing.

"I expect nothing less than a tough battle," he said.

"We've got a few recruits this year that aren't actually from Noosa but they learned pretty quickly that Maroochydore and Noosa have always had a big rivalry," he said.

"Ever since I was a little kid, we've always had very strong games...and then grand finals expedite that.

"It's exciting. I'm glad we're playing them. It's the ultimate test."

The 31-year-old believes the opening exchanges will be typically physical.

"Both clubs really respect each other and they (games between the teams) always start off really hot," he said.

"I think everyone puts their heads over the ball and battles for the first quarter and then it seems to open up.

"I think we can expect pretty similar (this time)...with bodies flying around."

Noosa claimed the minor premiership in the 10-team competition before beating second-placed Maroochydore by 39 points in the major semi-final at Noosaville to earn a spot in the decider.

The Roos rebounded to defeat Caloundra by 19 points in the preliminary final last weekend.

With the scheduling done earlier in the year, the teams will meet at Yeronga. Jeffery expects bus loads of fans to travel down the Bruce Highway, especially because the teams will also meet in division one reserves.

"That bodes well for having a big 50-50 crowd. It will be nice and loud," he said. "We're confident that everything we've done up to this point is spot on. We've got no excuses."

It looms as a particularly poignant game for the sharpshooter, because it will likely be his last.

"Hopefully, I can go out with a bang," he said. "I owe a lot to Noosa footy club so I'd love to give one back to them, and get one for myself. That would be fairytale stuff."

Jeffery came through the junior ranks at the Tigers, playing with two beaten sides in the grand finals of 2006 and 2009. He spent seven years playing in Victoria, winning a title with Sorrento in 2014, before returning to Noosa this year.

The decider starts at 2.15pm.

Topics:  noosa afl noosa tigers ryan jeffery


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