HE has played rugby league for most of his life, but for Queanbeyan Blues halfback Marc Herbert, next Sunday's Canberra Raiders Cup grand final will be his first chance to win a local premiership.
The Blues played their best game of the season last Sunday, sweeping aside the Queanbeyan Kangaroos 43-10 in making a big statement that this season they will be truly ready to break their six year title drought.
And although last season they beat the Kangaroos in the major semi-final only to lose to them in the grand final a fortnight later, they have now scored 157 points in their last three matches, and are by far the form team of the competition.
But for Herbert, the Canberra Raiders Cup title would be the icing on the cake of what has been a busy six years.
Coming from Canberra's now defunct East Canberra Tigers junior rugby league club, he made his Canberra Raiders NRL debut in 2008 when the club sacked star halfback Todd Carney for his off-field issues.
But with the Raiders going through selection dilemmas, he played just 23 games until 2010, where he was released by the club, and he joined the Bradford Bulls in the English Super League.
He only played one season there, and seeing his career going nowhere, decided to move back to Canberra to concentrate on his university studies.
But Blues coach Simon Woolford took the reigns at the club at the start of last year, and knowing Herbert was back, he made his first signing with him.
"Winning it would be a good way to cap off my footy career," said Herbert.
"It would be an awesome achievement to captain the team to the premiership too. It'll be something I can certainly remember and have fond memories of."
"Hopefully we can go one step better this year [than last year]."
Herbert said there was no fear through his side as it prepares to play in the grand final, despite losing to the Kangaroos 17-16 in last year's grand final, and said training next week would be as normal.
He was confident that his men would not allow the same thing to happen again this year with each player having experienced the pain of last season.
"We'll be going into the game fresh. We won't be holding anything from last season," he said.
"It's a whole new season and a whole new game, so that's the way we'll be treating it."
The Kangaroos scored the first try last Sunday, but from there it was all one way traffic, as the Blues dominated the middle of the park with two tries a piece to former NRL player David Pangai and Leu Saipani.
This allowed backs Tyler Stevens, Jake Knight and Herbert himself to control the game.
"I think they'll [Kangaroos] admit they didn't play as well as the hoped, but we know if we meet them in the grand final it'll be a different story," he said.