You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content

When you are the most-successful team in the history of the competition, and are appearing in your fourth grand final in five years, memories of recent pain don't immediately jump out as motivating factors for your side.

Yet seven players named in the Junior Warriors team for the Holden Cup Grand Final remain from the side that went down 42-30 to the Panthers in last season's decider, and they are making no secret about their thirst for redemption against the Broncos on Sunday.

"I said you have got to enjoy this week, we have half a dozen of these boys who were here last year and played in a grand final [loss], and they are still hurting from that," Junior Warriors coach Stacey Jones said mid-week.

"You sort of rely on those boys to say what it means to be in a grand final… sometimes it's once in a lifetime.

"Some of them are too old for next year and the younger ones have got to realise this could be their only chance.

"Losing a grand final is not a good feeling, I have been there myself as a player [in the Warriors' 2002 NRL Grand Final defeat to the Roosters] and it's hard to get back into one.

"Sometimes [you are] better off not even turning up when you lose because it is horrible."

Armed with the memories of disappointment from a year ago the Junior Warriors have defied the odds to make the final from eighth position, and have kept their season alive twice over the past month with last-minute tries.

Last Saturday's preliminary final victory over the Eels – where the New Zealanders scored twice in the final two minutes to win 29-26 – will go down as perhaps the greatest finals match in the National Youth Competition's seven-year history.

But according to Jones the emotion-charged journey to ANZ Stadium is his side's biggest threat ahead of their quest for a third NYC title.

"We spoke about it, to enjoy the moment and get excited, but realise that we have another week to go," the former Kiwi international said.

 "The challenge for us – and I sort of recognised this a month out from the playoffs – was getting to the eight, once we got there I knew that we could give it a good crack.

"We have beaten these top teams throughout the regular season, we just had some bad luck against some of the lesser teams.

"They have just got to keep delivering."

Captain Sam Lisone, who played an integral role in last week's miraculous comeback, will play his 50th and last NYC game on Sunday before moving up to the club's NRL and NSW Cup squads for 2015.

Ahead of his side attempting to become the first team in either the NRL or NYC to win the premiership from eighth position, Lisone said they have no issue defying historical odds.

"This team is all about making history. We won in North Queensland – the first Warriors under-20s team to win there – we were first to win in Canberra too, we are making history... I am really proud of them," the front-rower said.

"After the effort the boys put in we really deserve to play in this final."

In their previous meetings in 2014 the Warriors and Broncos have a win apiece, both enjoying large victories on their opponent's home turf.

Throughout the season Brisbane, who qualified second, have been undoubtedly the better side, but Jones said that would mean little come Sunday.

"Those games count for nothing now, we won't go back and review those games now, we will look at what they have done the last few weeks," Jones said.

"They are a different team to the last three we have played, they are not as big but they certainly throw the ball around a bit more and they are pretty fit too. Our mind set has to be that we need to defend really well if we want to win this."

Full Holden Cup Grand Final Preview

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

Premier Partner

Media Partners

Major Partners

View All Partners