COLLEGIANS scored a confidence-boosting win over Old Xaverians in the final round of VAFA Premier action on the weekend.
With the two now due to meet again in the first week of the finals on Saturday, the 9.18 (72) to 9.8 (62) win at Toorak Park may give Collegians a psychological edge.
But for their inability to kick straight, it could have been a more comfortable win, with Collegian kicking 0.6 in the opening term.
They managed four goals in the second quarter but Old Xavs still took an eight-point lead into half time.
On a perfect day for football, Collegians finally clicked into gear in the second half and their extra 10 shots were enough to seal the win.
Old Xavs coach Andy Gowers said his team was able to hang in because of Collegians' inaccuracy but he was happy with his players' effort.
"Both teams had patches where they played well and Collegians were just a bit better on the day," he said.
"We pretty much did everything we would normally do to win a game of footy. It wasn't quite good enough today but, hopefully, it will be good enough next week."
There was a late injury concern for Xaverians with Jonathan Mercuri needing scans on a foot injury, which could rule him out of the first week of the finals.
The teams have split their two meetings this year, while Collegians come into the finals on the back of an eight-game winning streak.
Gowers said he wasn't worried about his team's form going into the finals, despite losing three of their last four games.
"We've had bad weather to contend with and that's restricted our scoring power," he said. "The objective is to win next week but we have the double chance for good reason. I hope we don't need it."
OLD XAVERIANS 9.8 (62)
Goal: J. Williams 3, B. Kennedy 2, D. Harangozo 2, B. Goss, D. Lynch. Best: P. Ambrose, R. Colbert, M. Ball, B. Kennedy, O. Gidley, J. Williams.
COLLEGIANS 9.18 (72)
Goals: C. Blumfield 3, T. Zimbachs, N. Corp, J. Dixon, S. Taft, C. Lee, N. Ries. Best: C. Holst, C. Blumfield, J. Harvey, C. Hylton, S. Inglis, C. Lee.
VAFA FINALS, WEEK 1
Qualifying Final: Collegians v Old Xaverians
De La Salle v Old Scotch