It's starting to feel like 2014 at South Sydney with Alex Johnston declaring there is belief building that is similar to their last premiership success.
The Rabbitohs are 80 minutes away from only their second grand final in 50 years, after Saturday's win over Penrith put them in a fourth straight preliminary final.
But players know there is a key difference between this year and the past three seasons when they have fallen at the penultimate hurdle.
Only one team in the past five years has made the decider without having the week off, giving the Rabbitohs a crucial break before the clash against Manly or arch-rival Sydney Roosters.
It's also Souths' first time straight through to the preliminary since during their drought-breaking title in 2014.
"We definitely got the belief like we did back then. So I think that's the main thing that is probably the same," Johnston said.
"(The week off) would definitely help just get our bodies right and maybe mentally prepare better than we have in previous years.
"I know last year we had a lot of bodies out and a lot of guys hurt so hopefully this year will be different."
Johnston said the Rabbitohs' growing confidence had come from taking it to - and beating the Panthers.
The qualifying final win was the first time in 10 matches Souths had beaten either premiership heavyweights Penrith and Melbourne.
Souths players have so far made a point not to talk about their last three losses in grand final qualifiers, a conversation that is unlikely to willingly come up in the 10 days.
A similar situation surrounded the team in 2014 after they'd fallen one week short in 2012 and 2013.
There are other similarities.
Sam Burgess was a popular captain in 2014 and was ready to depart the club, much like halfback Adam Reynolds in 2021.
"It probably adds to (the motivation)," Johnston said.
"But I think we've all just we've got that desire that has been building up over the last few years where we've just missed out."
Reynolds isn't alone in hunting the fairytale.
As well as Wayne Bennett, Queensland State of Origin stars Dane Gagai (Newcastle) and Jaydn Su'A (St George Illawarra) are also on their way out.
"I'm really passionate about this club and it was definitely a hard decision (to leave) but it was the decision I had to make," Su'A said.
"I have come to a realisation that (the preliminary final) could be my last game.
"I have taken that mindset to the last couple of games and that's helped me a lot.
"That's definitely a factor, it's a lot of motivation to try and keep winning."
Australian Associated Press