THE 2019 SG Ball season has been one to remember for Ben Linde and his Illawarra Steelers side.
But those eight wins, one draw and one loss will all go to waste if they don't win Saturday's SG Ball final against the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles at Bankwest Stadium.
"After the first three games, we had one win, one draw and one loss to our names," Linde said.
"So we established we needed to change some aspects of our game, in particular emphasising the importance of working as a team in those effort areas.
"As we are a team that has plenty of attacking weapons and likes to throw it around, I highlighted the importance of earning the right to play like that, on the back of us doing those little things right such as completing our sets and being disciplined on defence.
"Since then, all the boys have bought in to the team first mentality, which has seen us win seven straight games."
As such as Linde credits to boys to buying into the system, he also acknowledges the amount of skill he has at his disposal.
"We have a very dynamic and balanced side a cross the park, with every single one of the boys capable of being the match winner," he said.
"All the boys are such good mates, having been in the Steelers system for a couple of years now, as well as playing against each other for even longer.
"They are all local boys that want to do it for their local area - they are a very special group of young men."
But Linde's side, featuring Warilla-Lake South's Blake Dowel and Sam Hooper, Milton-Ulladulla's Oscar Fitzpatrick and Albion Park-Oak Flats' Joshua Coric, aren't getting too far ahead of themselves, because grand finals don't come all the time.
The last time the Steelers SG Ball side won the competition was in 1996 - the same year their Harold Matthews side won.
Since then SG Ball has lost the 2000 and 2016 grand finals, while the Harold Matthews side has gone down in both the 2002 and 2011 deciders.
"We know there is still plenty of work to be done, as Manly-Warringah are a little a bit of an unknown - as we haven't played them yet this year," Linde said.
"But their group has been the yardstick for a while now, since the Harold Matthews, shown by them winning the minor premiership this season (on percentage over the Steelers).
"So all we can do is concentrate on our games, in particular our continuity has been a big talking point this week.
"If we can complete at a high clip, it builds pressure and makes it difficult for the other side, as they are constantly starting their set of six deep inside their own end.
"And with pressure comes mistakes - which it will then be up to us to capitalise on."
Just as Steelers Tarsha Gale coach Daniel Lacey said, a win on Saturday, from 3pm, would mean the world to him and the whole Illawarra club.
"To win on Saturday would be massive for the local rugby league fraternity, as well as all the boys' families and club staff, who work tirelessly to get us to this point," Linde said.
"Personally, it would be my top coaching achievement to date.
"I know the boys deserve the win on Saturday, I just hope they play the way I know they are capable of and are rewarded for it - I can't wait."