Aaron McInnes looks to win Canberra Raiders Cup after three straight grand final losses

Queanbeyan Blues Aaron McInnes has lost the last three grand finals he has played in, in the last three years. Photo: Andrew Johnston.

Queanbeyan Blues Aaron McInnes has lost the last three grand finals he has played in, in the last three years. Photo: Andrew Johnston.

Queanbeyan Blue Aaron Mclnnes is no stranger to the pressure of first grade football, whatever the code.

But unlike so many of his Queanbeyan Blues teammates, this weekend he will be chasing the Canberra Raiders Cup premiership to put an end to not just one, but three successive years of grand final heartache.

McInnes was a part of the Western Districts sides that lost back to back John I Dent Cup grand finals in 2011 and 2012.

Despite changing codes in 2013 to join the Queanbeyan Blues in rugby league, he was again denied a grand final victory by the Queanbeyan Kangaroos.

He remembers all too well missing out on taking home the trophy last year, but feels he is much more ready for the 2014 decider on Sunday against Goulburn.

"I'm a lot more confident this year back in league than what I was last year, still adjusting to the game. Hopefully I read the game well on Sunday," he said.

"You read the game a bit differently between union and league."

The Blues forward insisted that his years spent in the rival code helped him to become a real weapon for his rugby league team. At six foot three, he is a daunting opponent on the park.

"Simon Woolford has been continually working with me to try and make sure I use my size as an asset to the team, whether that's standing in the tackle to offload or drawing in two or three defenders," he said.

"You get some good constructive feedback [from Woolford], which really helps."

McInnes said that despite similarities between union and league, two full seasons with the Blues helped his awareness of the differences in skills required between rugby league and rugby union.

"Yes it's still catch, pass, kick, but it's the angles which you run, and the way you attack the defensive line that's very different," he said.

"The 10 metres up and back in defence really sorted my lungs out when I first made the switch to league last year."

McInnes said that he wouldn't rule out a switch back to union, but the question of retirement had started to loom on the horizon.

"You never say never, but I'm 33 years old now and there's probably not too many years left in the legs," he said.

"We'll [Woolford and I] have a chat around my role and what the team needs are for next year. I'll make an informed choice to see whether I should strap the boots on at 34 to go around again."

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