It's been a similar tale for the Wiradjuri Goannas in each of the last few editions of the Western Women's Rugby League (WWRL) competition.
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The quality of a number of individuals in the squad has been as good, if not better, than any other team in the competition but when the finals arrive the Goannas have simply run out of puff.
Playing in a tackle competition in the summer months while often having one or two, or sometimes zero, players on the bench meant fatigue could set in.
Premiership glory has evaded the Goannas open-age side during the past three seasons largely due to a lack of depth but improved numbers this year is creating a real sense of belief.
"It (premiership) is the goal and this year I think that goal is a little more achievable given the fact we've got players on the bench," returning coach Peta Powyer said.
"That's been our biggest hurdle the last few years, that running out of legs in the dying stages of games because you've only got 13 or 14 players.
"Hopefully we're extremely competitive come that time of year this year."
While somewhat lucky to get away with a 24-22 win over the Vipers at Orange in round one, the win showcased that depth as Powyer was allowed the luxury of rotating her forwards.
That's something Goannas coaches haven't been able to do for a number of years but Powyer will be able to shuffle the pack again on Saturday when her side plays at home for the first time this season.
The Goannas will host the Castlereagh Cougars at Apex Oval and the depth at the club is so great this season Powyer was being forced to drop players for the match on Friday.
The Goannas currently have 28 senior players registered, with 23 able to be named for game-day.
"There's a fair bit of excitement among the girls and I think that's why we've got so many registered," Powyer said.
"But I'm not going to lie, we were extremely lucky to win in Orange but two points is two points and in an extremely short comp like this you can't afford to drop a game."
The other challenge of a short competition - the WWRL finishes with grand finals on November 25 - is the lack of time coaches have to be able to really work on specific tactics with their teams.
We've developed quite the rivalry with Castlereagh and there's family ties and mates there so I'm keen to see how this weekend pans out.- Peta Powyer
A number of the newcomers to the Goannas side have no or very limited tackle experience, meaning much of Powyer's time in pre-season has been focused on the basics.
As challenging as that is at times for the coach and also the experienced core group that has been playing this format for a number of years, it does also have its benefits.
"This sort of competition is unique in that you're trying impart 12 years of knowledge onto girls who are trying this for the first time and it does become a bit monotonous for the girls who've come from a rugby background or have played for Goannas since it started," Powyer said.
"I know they can get frustrated but I think we've seen in this competition when Bathurst pipped us in the final last year and the previous year when Bathurst pipped us in the semi and even a few years ago when Orange beat us in the final it's not flashy plays.
"It's the basics that win games and doing those basics well."
The basics will be important on Saturday against a Castlereagh side which has often lifted to take on the Goannas.
In their three games last season the Goannas scored two tough wins - one of those in the semi-final - while there was a dominant win for the Cougars when Powyer's side was severely under-strength.
"We've developed quite the rivalry with Castlereagh and there's family ties and mates there so I'm keen to see how this weekend pans out," the coach said.
Saturday's matches will be played on the outside grounds at Apex Oval, with under 12s starting at 9am and the main game at 2pm.
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