IT IS a given that at least one Queanbeyan Canberra Raiders Cup side will make the grand final in two weeks' time, and the Kangaroos still believe it can be them after they take on the Blues at Seiffert Oval this Sunday.
The major semi-final will be the third Queanbeyan derby this year, but the most important one, with the winner going straight to the grand final.
They will play against either the Goulburn Workers Bulldogs, or the loser of Sunday's game, who will play Goulburn next weekend in the preliminary final.
But with both Queanbeyan clubs trying to get one up on the other this season, the rivalry is set to flare up yet again, with both sides knowing the game could go either way.
While the Kangaroos will be without 18-year old young gun winger Tom Cronan, coach Aaron Gorrell said he would still be able to field virtually a full-strength squad.
"Tom's obviously going to be a big loss, he's been playing some good football, but we'll get around it, and I'm confident the side we pick will be good enough to win the game," said Gorrell.
"We should have everyone else on deck, and we're looking forward to the clash."
Cronan, who's older brother Bryan also plays in the side, represented the Canberra Raiders SG Ball team earlier this year, which plays in the NSW Rugby League under 18s competition between its affiliated NRL clubs.
Canberra Region Rugby League rules state that any Canberra Raiders Cup player who represents the Raiders at any level must play at least five games for their local club to be eligible for finals football at local level.
Cronan played one under 18s game for the Kangaroos before making his SG ball debut, and after that he played three first grade games for the Kangaroos, leaving him one game short of playing in the finals.
He said he was gutted to miss the finals, but although he thought the rule was unfair, he accepted it.
"It's a bit unfair, because I started with the Roos and then went to the Raiders," he said.
"But the boys will have some good back up for me. They're not too worried about that. It was good being able to play with Bryan [Cronan] again."
"I think they'll move Sione Afemui in there for me, but the boys have plenty of depth."
The rule is in place to stop local clubs from poaching Raiders players just to boost them in the finals, but Gorrell thought the rule should be in line with non-Raiders players, who only have to play three games to be eligible in the finals.
"They run the comp, and they're punishing a kid for playing for them," said Gorrell.
The Queanbeyan Blues will line up as normal on Sunday, and having scored 114 points in their last two games, are carrying their best form into it.
Just one competition point separated the sides at the end of the home-and-away season.