Raiders youngster Jack Ahearn. Photo: Getty Images
They're sober, hungry and desperate to make amends for the two most painful defeats of the past 12 months.
The under-20s Raiders have sworn off booze for the finals and hope the sacrifice pays off when they face Wests Tigers in Friday's National Youth Competition semi-final at Allianz Stadium.
Raiders fullback Jack Ahearn revealed the team's senior players had urged the rest of the squad to agree to an alcohol ban at the end of the regular season, knowing they could get caught up in the Mad Monday celebrations of the NRL squad.
The NRL side had well-publicised alcohol-related issues this season, contributing to the sackings of Josh Dugan and Blake Ferguson. Young stars Anthony Milford and Josh Papalii were also drinking two days before the round-25 game in Auckland.
''It was something we as a group agreed on after the last game of the season,'' Ahearn said.
''We knew the NRL [team] wouldn't be going into finals and knew they would be drinking.
''Us senior boys brought it up because we've got the pain from last year and we just want to go one better.
''We thought a drinking ban for the boys to concentrate on the job is what's best for the team.''
The sudden-death encounter is a rematch of last year's grand final when the Tigers embarrassed the Raiders 46-6.
They will also be keen to bounce back from last week's controversial 27-26 golden-point loss to the Bulldogs.
''A few things didn't go our way with the refs, but it was very heartbreaking to go down like that,'' Ahearn said.
''We have to use the hurt from the defeat, and for the boys who were here last year for the grand final loss to the Tigers, as motivation for this week's game. We need to start well.''