Jacob Neill knows what it takes to get to a grand final.
And after being part of Sunday's demolition of Forbes in the minor semi-final he's got no doubts this current Nyngan Tigers side can go all the way this year.
The Tigers faced a do-or-die clash after losing the qualifying semi-final a week prior, but on Sunday in front of a parochial home crowd at Larkin Oval the men in black and gold showed just what they're capable of.
Led by a dominant forward pack and a brilliant kicking game from Merritt brothers Josh and Jai, the Tigers ran out 44-12 minor semi winners to keep alive hopes of a second decider spot in three years.
"When we're focused we're a force. That's all it comes down to," Neill said as the Tigers faithful celebrated.
"I've got all the confidence in the world in this squad. They talk about 2017 but this side is just as good and I reckon next week, Wellington is a quality side, but I think we're ready for it."
Lengthy delays caused by serious injuries to Wellington players in reserve grade and juniors meant first-grade was put back by close to an hour.
Neill admitted he was nervous how his side might start after having to sit on the sidelines for that extra period, but there was no need to fear.
Another brilliant 40/20 from Josh Merritt inside the first five minutes led to the first of three tries on the day for winger Ash Widders, and while Forbes levelled it up 10 minutes later there would be little more joy for the defending premiers.
Through a power running game and some individual flair, the Tigers stayed on the front foot and ran in four more first half tries.
Forbes captain Hayden Bolam said his side still had the belief they could come back from the 26-6 half-time deficit and when a lovely Mitch Burke pass sent Ethan Gaffney over 13 minutes into the second half there was a hint of another Magpies finals masterclass.
But they turned out to be the last points Forbes scored, as Tigers standout Loma Atuau grabbed a second try, Josh Merritt bagged a deserved four-pointer, and then with five minutes to go Widders' third iced the dominant showing.
"If one to 17 shows up anything is possible with this group, there's some talented players," Neill, himself immense at lock again, said.
For Bolam and his Magpies, the loss was a disappointing one after such a strong showing in last weekend's elimination semi-final at Parkes.
"We always knew it would be tough, Nyngan at Nyngan at semi-finals time is never easy but they were just the better side," the skipper said.
"We leaked a few points early but we thought we could come back and we still believed. But a few errors and those one-percenters, that didn't help."
The Magpies' title defence was hampered by a number of serious injuries while marquee recruits Brad Toole and Brydon Ramien both departed before the midway point of the season and then Tongia Fox copped a 17-week ban.
All that made life extremely tough for the minor premiers and while there was some tough points in the season, Bolam remained proud of his troops after a first year in the captaincy role.
"They all dug deep and all put in 100 percent effort so I'm very proud," he said.
- NYNGAN TIGERS 44 (Ash Widders 3, Loma Atuau 2, Kurt Whaley, Hammond Erepan, Josh Merritt tries; Darryl Cubby 6 conversions) defeated FORBES MAGPIES 12 (Ethan Gaffney 2 tries; Bailey Hartwig 2 conversions)