Raiders coach Ricky Stuart says the incredible Canberra dynasty he won three premierships with in the late 1980s and early '90s will not play a part in his side's preparation for Sunday's 2019 Telstra Premiership grand final.
The current coach wore the No.7 jersey in three grand final wins for a star-studded Canberra side – every premiership the club has won in its four decades.
Stuart suited up alongside some of the era's biggest names: Mal Meninga, Laurie Daley, Brad Clyde, Glenn Lazarus, Steve and Kevin Walters… the list goes on. There are any number of superstar names Stuart could call in to rev up his troops if he wanted but he said while history was important, those sorts of distractions wouldn't be happening.
"No, this is all about us this week," Stuart said at Thursday's grand final press conference.
"The boys have all done a very good job of wanting that to be a part of culture but understand that you can appreciate the past [while ensuring] this is about us.
"We know they're supporting us, as are a lot of the other ex-players, but this is about trying to keep a pretty normal routine."
NRL grand final media conference
Stuart played in a virtual era of dynasties; his wonderful Canberra teams vied with the magnificent Broncos of the same era with both clubs boasting virtual Test line-ups in week-to-week club games. That came on the back of the Canterbury and Parramatta dynasties of the eighties when those two clubs shared eight of the nine premierships leading into Canberra's '89 win.
Stuart believes those days are over, with even the recent successes of the Roosters and Storm paling in comparison to that sort of dominance.
"Those types of days are a lot harder [to replicate]," he said.
"The Roosters have done a wonderful job in showing their consistency in getting back to this stage of the year. It's a lot hard harder nowadays I believe. I feel the whole competition is harder. Every game is a tough game."
Maintaining a regular routine is even more important given the almost total absence of NRL grand final experience in Canberra's squad with only Joey Leilua (back in 2010 with the Roosters) having played in one.
"Most of the guys haven't experienced this," Stuart said.
"There are a lot of commitments this week for both teams and it's important, it's our responsibility to do those commitments very well for our fans and the NRL but you've still got to try and keep your routine and schedule and preparation as much as you possibly can.
Who has that grand final X-factor?
"It's important for them to handle it but also to enjoy the times they need to enjoy and concentrate [when they need to].
"They're sensible enough guys, they know that [the grand final week distractions] are all winding up now.
"I wasn't concerned at the start of the week but I did keep my eye on it because they're a young bunch of blokes and they haven't had this type of hype before, or a lot of them haven't.
"I've been proud of the way they've participated and contributed to the week for the fans, on fan day when we had to train in front of [a crowd], they've participated well with that and also knuckled down at training sessions and video when they needed to."
In a serious break from rugby league tradition, Raiders skipper Jarrod Croker was not eager to claim the underdog tag despite most feeling the Roosters deserve to be heavy favourites.
"We haven't looked too much into the whole underdog situation to be honest," Croker said.
"It's a grand final, it's a 50-50 game. We were very relieved to win that game (the preliminary final against the Rabbitohs) last week.
Match: Roosters v Raiders
Grand Final -
Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney
- Nine Network
"We had a lot of hype around, Canberra was pretty excited for two weeks after the first semi.
"I think the boys, we were pretty excited and pretty keen for that game last week so it was a big relief to get it done.
"We really prepared well and it's obviously a lot bigger this week with the hype and the build-up in the media but we had a lot of that in Canberra last week and if we didn't prepare well and prepare to play our best game we wouldn't have been able to beat Souths, they were pretty resilient down there and had a fair crack."