Their desire need not be questioned, their motivation remains clear.
One win away from an Intrust Super Premiership NSW Grand Final berth, the Penrith Panthers and the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs will lay it all on the line when the pair meet at Leichhardt Oval this Sunday.
Sub-plots and intricacies only add extra spice to an already tantalising affair – the winner to book a date with either the Wyong Roos or the NZ Warriors in the decider, pending that earlier clash’s outcome.
At the helm of the Panthers charge in 2016, Bulldogs coach Steve Georgallis will be out to ensure his former side is left to rue what might have been. Guiding Penrith to an 8th-placed finish last season, only to be bundled out of the Finals in Week 1, the Canterbury mentor has his sights set on going all the way this year.
One of the most consistent sides throughout the season, the Bulldogs will need to find every ounce of their graft and grind to overcome a freshened Penrith outfit.
Narrowly pipped by the Roos in Week 1 of the Finals, Georgallis’ men put fears of a ‘straight-sets’ exit from the title race to bed with a solid showing against the defending premiers Illawarra, last weekend.
The Panthers meanwhile sat back and watched on with a keen eye, having scored an impressive win over the Warriors in their Week 1 Qualifying Final.