KEEN OBSERVER: Rugby League Ipswich chairman David Nugent can't wait for today.
KEEN OBSERVER: Rugby League Ipswich chairman David Nugent can't wait for today. Cordell Richardson

What does it take to win?

NO TWO teams better epitomise the grit, determination and spirit required to win a premiership, than two sides who enter their respective grand finals today as rank outsiders.

Rugby League Ipswich chairman David Nugent has watched more matches than just about anyone this season.

As a neutral observer with a vested interest in quality football, Nugent has been impressed with the resilience of the West End under-15 side on their road to the decider.

"I think at the beginning of the year people wrote them off a little as nothing more than rough outsiders at best,” Nugent said. "Now they've qualified for a grand final.

"They'll need to punch above their weight to do well, but they've certainly done that to this point. I think they should be really proud of themselves.”

Starting the season with a squad of only 19 players and fielding just one on the bench in their preliminary final win over Redbank.

Nugent said the young Bulldogs would be up against it today against "a pretty good Norths side”.

"They'll do it tough to scrape together 13 fit players by the looks. But based on what we've seen, they have the form to give it a shake,” the chairman said.

Whether the Bulldogs win or lose, Nugent said the journey should be the big takeaway.

"As much as it's about trying to win, it's already a great achievement to make it and be a grand finalist,” he said.

"It might burn on Sunday morning if you don't know, but there's still next year.

"If it hurts, bottle it and use it for motivation next year. I dare-say (Fassifern A-Grade coach) Daniel Roos will be handing that bottle out at training this week.”

The other side which has impressed Nugent is the Norths A-Grade outfit.

Unheralded by many, the Tigers have timed their run perfectly to book a date with Fassifern in today's headline act.

Nugent is adamant that run of good form is no accident.

"The wily old fox Mick Newton has been there plenty of times,” Nugent said. "He knows how to get the boys up.

"They've really flown under the radar for much of the year. Blokes like Jarrod Biggs and Josh Roberts have worked their way back and had a big finals series.

"They'll have a big assignment, but their form line is good and they're peaking at the right time.”

Favouritism is earned, and Nugent admitted he was hard-pressed to see any major upsets looming on today's grand final card.

But that is the beauty of finals football. Once you are there, you have a chance. Sometimes a chance is all you need.