Confidence is high with Tigers
WITH second spot in the bag Norths will head into the IRL A-grade finals series with confidence high.
The Tigers have a full squad and five wins on the trot to call on after beating West End 38-24 yesterday.
Norths opened up a big lead before dropping their intensity in the second half and allowing the Bulldogs to salvage some pride.
But it was never going to be enough to deny the Tigers the win that kept them above Goodna in second spot.
"We fell asleep a bit in the second half," Norths prop Tim Newton said.
"We went into it thinking we wanted to press for this game so we could go into finals with a winning attitude."
The second half drop in intensity wasn't ideal, but the Tigers showed enough in the first 40 to be confident they are ready to produce their best in finals.
"We were working together really well," Newton said.
"We had a few players out but we completed our sets well and finished with a bit of polish."
The win gives the Tigers a chance to head straight in to the grand final if they can beat minor premiers Brothers in a fortnight.
By then Newton expects them to be at full-strength - a rarity for the Tigers at this time of the season.
Finishing second also means if Norths can't beat Brothers, they will get another chance in the finals against the winner of Goodna and Fassifern's elimination final.
"It's definitely great to get two bites at the cherry," Newton said.
"But we think on our day we can beat anyone."
This year presents arguably the Tigers' best shot at making the grand final since they last did, in 2006.
Newton has been in the side since 2007 and said 2009 was the last time they were anywhere near as strong.
"Then we had a heap of injuries in the semi-final against Brothers and went downhill from there," he said.
"We've got a strong belief in our squad.
"We all know how each other plays and we've played together for a long time."
That belief has been boosted over recent wins over all their main rivals.
"Obviously that gives us a lot of confidence," Newton said.
"We know we can do the job. It's just about showing up on the day."
In yesterday's other A grade match, Brothers beat Swifts 54-32.