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ISP Grand Final Preview - Jets v Bulldogs

Two wins over the Bulldogs during the regular season will count for little when the Intrust Super Premiership Grand Final kicks off at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday.

The Newtown Jets flew into the competition decider with a win over minor premiers the Penrith Panthers last weekend, but the task steps up a notch this weekend against a Canterbury team boasting wealth of NRL experience.

The Jets held on to beat the Panthers in a nail-biter last Saturday afternoon, while the Bulldogs overcame a first-half deficit to beat the Dragons, setting up a classic Grand Final confrontation between two in-form teams.

Sharks and Jets forward Kurt Dillon, who missed the majority of the Panthers game after suffering a head knock, realises the onus will fall on him and his fellow forwards to control a physical Bulldogs forward pack.

Dillon has passed his concussion protocols during the week and is looking forward to bringing home the trophy for the Jets this weekend.

"I'll be ready to go," Dillon told Sharks TV. "I got a bit of a head knock (against Penrith), stumbled around a bit, but I'm 100 per cent.

"We're expecting them be powerful through the middle and to challenge us through the middle. The past two weeks, Mounties and Penrith, the strength has been their forward pack and all the boys have stepped up to to the challenge, so we've just got to take the same mentality as the last two weeks an stand up to the big forwards in the Bulldogs team," Dillon added.

While the forward battle will be intense, with Dillon, Ava Seumanfagai, Wes Lolo and Jaimin Jollife to come up against the likes of Greg Eastwood, Rhys Martin and former Shark Fa'amanu Brown, the Jets will be hoping they have the edge in the backs, with their young and potent back five in outstanding form of late.

Will Kennedy at fullback has been a handful for all teams he has come up against, as has winger Sione Katoa who has no doubt benefitted from his introduction to the NRL during the 2018 season.

Centres Aaron Gray and Reuben Rennie, as well as winger Bessie Aufaga-Toomaga round up an explosive Jets backline

Young halves Kyle Flanagan and Jack Williams have also guided their team into the Grand Final with their class and ability and will be intent on closing out an excellent season with a win on Sunday.

The Jets and Bulldogs have met twice 2018, with the Newtown side coming out on top twice but in contrasting circumstances.

In their most recent meeting the Jets were convincing in registering a 20-6 triumph, but in round seven it was a different story, Newtown coming back from a large deficit to win 22-20.

On that occasion Gray scored twice in the final 10 minutes as the Jets scored the final 22-points of the match after trailing 20-0.

The ISP Grand Final is scheduled for a 3.10pm kickoff at Leichhardt Oval, with the game to shown live on Channel 9.

Acknowledgement of Country

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks respect and honour 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.

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