North Sydney’s premiership reunion is a little bit lonely at the moment, but Norths coach Simon Cron hopes that will all change on Saturday.
They last won a premiership in 1975, but have a chance to end that drought against minor premiers Sydney Uni on Saturday.
“From our point of view it’s the same way we play week in, week out, if we’d lost a game int he past 12 weeks we would’ve been knocked out,” he said.
“From a club and supporter point of view external North supporter hopefully that’s what we do it for.
“The 1975 team, they’re a great bunch of guys so it would be good for them to have someone they can go and do lunches and celebrate with.”
Norths will have the help of returned Super Rugby players Michael Wells and Michael Dowsett in the decider, but few can match the influence of openside Will Miller.
Miller took out the 2016 Catchpole Medal as the Shute Shield’s best player and Cron said it was a reflection of the standing in which he is held.
The flanker, a dairy farmer by trade, travels two-and-a-half hours from Berry to play and train with Norths, setting the tone for the rest of his teammates.
“Will’s been an awesome leader and a great human,” he said.
“He’s one of the best players in the Shute Shield by a mile and winning the Catchpole medal shows that the rest of the people think that as well,” he said.
“If anybody at training moans about having to work or being late, then you just look at Will and he drive s two-and-a-half hours and he’s always on time.
“What it does is it shows the level of commitment and what kind of guys we have, our club is full of guys like Will Miller.”
Their opponents, Sydney Uni, last tasted premiership success in 2013 and will be farewelling stalwart Tom Carter, who is adamant this is definitely his final rugby season.
“No Johnny Farnham tour, it’s over,” he said.
“I think I was going pretty well til everyone started asking me but now I’m a bit more sentimental.
“After 16 years I think I’m pretty at peace with whatever happens tomorrow, I think some of the masses will probably be disappointed they can’t come and give it to me every week.
Uni coach Tim Davidson praised Carter for his influence on the club on and off the field.
“The pleasing thing is the players around him will do anything for him,” he said.
“That’s just a by product of the time he’s invested in each and every one of them.
“To ask them to play one final game for him it’s pretty simple request."
The Shute Shield final kicks off at 3;10pm at North Sydney Oval on Saturday and will be broadcast LIVE on 7TWO in Sydney.