TO those on the outside it was just another muddy football game.
But to North Ringwood coach Brett Moyle his side's 15-point win over Wantirna South on Saturday was no regular game of football - it was a whole different sport.
The win handed the Saints the minor premiership in the Eastern Football League division 3 competition and a week off.
But Moyle said his players would need all the rest they could get following the exhausting conditions at the Saints' home ground, Quambee Reserve.
Moyle said his side would not train on the ground tonight and may also stay off it on Thursday night, depending on whether they could find a suitable alternative.
"If anyone has a ground to offer, that would be good. In our first final we will be playing on a fast deck at East Burwood so training on a heavy ground is not ideal.
"It [Saturday] was almost like a different sport compared to the type of game we will be playing in during the finals."
While trying to not distract from his side's fighting win over the Devils, who themselves were fighting for a place in the finals, Moyle said he was concerned about the state of Quambee Reserve compared to other grounds outside of the Maroondah Council area.
"Our ground is in horrible nick, it's a pile of mud at the moment," he said. "It was certainly a scrappy affair. I guess that ideally a week before finals we would not be there. It's frustrating to see grounds at other councils in terrific nick, then see how our ground is."
Moyle commended the tireless work of Heath Decker on Devils key forward Daniel Beddome, along with the efforts of Jack Whelan and Dwayne Kelly.
He also praised the leadership of Matt Castles, who played his 200th game for the club.
Moyle said he was happy his side had not played any dead rubbers heading into the finals with games against Mitcham and Wantirna South in the final two rounds.
"Wantirna South threw everything at us," he said. "It was good to have some reasonably competitive games heading into finals. I've got to say I was impressed with Mitcham last match. They are playing pretty well."
Ringwood also pinched a spot in the division 3 elimination final with a win over rivals Heathmont on Saturday. The Redbacks didn't give the Jets a clear run at the game, winning each quarter on the way to a 58-point win.
The Redbacks will face Mitcham at Vermont Reserve in the elimination final this Sunday.