ON TRACK: The Waves captain Dan McLennan will play in his first final tomorrow.
ON TRACK: The Waves captain Dan McLennan will play in his first final tomorrow. Alistair Brightman

Captain focused on final frontier in today's final

THE Waves captain Dan McLennan knows just how Wallaroo Ben Waters is feeling heading into today's grand final.

He's experienced it before.

Waters was ruled out of the Bundaberg Rugby League A-grade decider with a torn anterior cruciate ligament he suffered when the two sides last met on August 26 at Salter Oval.

He's not only out of the grand final but will miss a large chunk of next season as well as he sits on the sidelines.

For McLennan it brings back his own memories of what he went through in 2016 and early 2017.

He broke his ankle two weeks out from the grand final in 2016 and watched on as The Waves lost to Hervey Bay in the decider.

"Just want to send my commiserations to Ben for missing out,” he said before the match.

"I hope he has a good recovery and comes back as quick as he can.”

McLennan this season will lead The Waves into the decider after surviving a hamstring strain early in the finals and cramp last week against Isis in the preliminary final.

"It's always good to make the grand final,” he said.

"I'm pretty keen to be there this year.

"But the team is different to the one that faced Hervey Bay two years ago.”

McLennan has been part of The Waves for the past few years, and like the team, hasn't had much success in A-grade.

The side is looking for its first title since 2008 and has only recently been back at the top of the competition following a few lean years.

McLennan experienced those moments.

"I haven't won anything since juniors,” he said.

"It would be nice to win.

"The whole team at the start of the year had one goal to win it all.

"Now we are one step away.”

The recent success of the team has come from those behind the scenes in the committee.

At the start it was done by McLennan's parents Rena and Bruce before others including current president Ash Simpson took over in the past few months.

"Without them, we pretty much wouldn't be here,” McLennan said.

"They do a lot more hard work and get as much support from us as we can give them.”

McLennan said the team would play for them to deliver them the success they deserve.

He added that has been the motto for the team all season, put The Waves before anything else.

"They've all bought into it,” he said.

"We've been building team first, making sure the team is ahead of themselves.

"But now we're all keen to go on Saturday.”

McLennan said the side would be looking for those that have experienced success in a grand final before to lead on the day.

The Waves halves combination of Tyrell Howard and Clinton Horne have both won premierships with Billy-James Stefaniuk and Chris Ford joining the duo.

"It's been really good having them involved,” he said.

"They are class players.”

So how will McLennan prepare for his first grand final?

"I'm pretty calm on game day all I really do is drink a lot of water,” he said.

"I don't really get nervous.

"I have other things on my mind and I'm a bit busy sometimes to really let it get to me.”

McLennan said he hoped that stayed the same in preparation for the grand final and what would be a tough game against the Wallaroos.

The side has beaten them twice this season with The Waves winning twice as well.

"They played well against us last time,” he said.

"We just need to focus on what we can do right.

"We're hopeful we can get the job done.”

The side plays Wallaroos at 4.45pm.

Read more on Page 43



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