Coach Des Hasler spoke to the media today ahead of Saturday night's blockbuster with the Manly Sea Eagles.
After coming into the finals winning only two of their past eight games, the Bulldogs produced an outstanding performance in week one of the finals against the Melbourne Storm.
That win has set up a clash with the Manly Sea Eagles and with a number of distractions surrounding Manly, including the suspension of Anthony Watmough, fullback Brett Stewart says Manly cannot win without the Origin back-rower.
"We can't beat the Bulldogs without suspended back-rower Anthony Watmough," said Stewart.
The mind games have certainly started, but for Hasler who knows the Manly side very well after coaching a number of the players to premierships in 2008 and 2011, believes this is Brett Stewart at his best.
"That is Snake (Stewart) at his best, he has been well tutored hasn’t he?," said Hasler.
Many people will be writing off Manly after their performance last week and with a number of key personal out, but Hasler knows what this side is capable of.
"I can guarantee you, they will be a different footy team, it is a different occasion, it will be a different team," said Hasler.
This Saturday's match will be a beauty after Manly won the first encounter this year in round 13, before the Bulldogs put in a spirited performance in round 17 to defeat the Sea Eagles on home soil.