It is a shame we have had to wait seven long years for James Tedesco to finally play finals football. It would have been an even greater shame had Latrell Mitchell been denied September action.
The Sydney Roosters excitement machines played a big role in the 21-12 triumph over a spirited Cronulla on Saturday night, a win that puts the minor premiers within 80 minutes of a grand final.
Tedesco and Mitchell are two good reasons alone to get excited about the Bondi club.
The star No.1 had a hand in two tries, including a brilliant cutout pass for Daniel Tupou's try approaching the hour. Had he worn a decent pair of boots with studs, he would have run for much more than the 227m on a slippery Allianz deck.
Mitchell scored a try but came up with an even bigger play with eight minutes on the clock. The Sharks thought they had a try when Luke Lewis pounced on a Chad Townsend grubber. But Mitchell, 21, threw his arms around 35-year-old Lewis and somehow forced the ball clear.
Roosters skipper Jake Friend said of the sensational Mitchell try-saver: "We love 'Trell' for all the tries he scores, but those try saves mean a lot more in these big games.
"For him to get into position and do what he had to stop that try was awesome.''
Sharks coach Shane Flanagan watched his side bomb two other tries, but the Lewis incident hurt most. "It was a fantastic game, a fantastic effort by my blokes, we just didn't nail three opportunities,'' Flanagan said.
"We had three opportunities to score, even the last one [with Lewis] to take it to 18-all, we just need to nail them in big games. We couldn't today. We tried hard.
"If Luke gets that ball down, we could be winning the game. That's how close it was.''
The brilliant Saturday night crowd of 24,588 knew their side was home. They were delighted Mitchell had put all his energy into stopping veteran Lewis.
Most of the Chookies supporters will already be dreaming of Souths hopefully winning next weekend and meeting their bitter rivals in a ding-dong preliminary final for the right to go through to the big dance.
For Cronulla, all the headlines will be about Matt Moylan meeting Penrith and the man who used to wear the Sharks No. 6 jersey, Jimmy Maloney, on Friday night.
Sadly the Shire club will need to keep trucking without inspirational back-rower Wade Graham, who hobbled from the field after 13 minutes with a knee injury. It was awful luck for Graham, who had played a huge role in the Sharks' red-hot run into the finals.
There were plenty of Sharks fans who left the Shire for the city. Hundreds of them were seen marching up nearby Foveaux St when thousands of shattered Sydney Swans departed the Sydney Cricket Ground early.
They were loud before kick-off, and quickly cranked up the volume again when under-rated winger Sosaia Feki scored the opener in the fifth minute.
It's a shame a few of them forgot their manners later in the night, with some objects pegged towards Mitchell before he attempted a sideline conversion. Security were also called into a large section of the away supporters with 15 minutes left on the clock.
Cronulla were dudded by referee Gerard Sutton when Chad Townsend was ruled to have knocked on when he jumped out of marker and tried to shut down Jake Friend.
The replays showed Townsend did not get his hands near the ball, but the Roosters were awarded the scrum feed and Tedesco fired a lovely cutout pass for Tupou to score the next set.
The Roosters were all the rage before a ball was kicked at the start of the year, and there's no reason to jump off Uncle Nick's City Ford bandwagon now.
Tedesco is a breath of fresh air at the back. After six seasons at his beloved Wests Tigers, Tedesco only got the chance to experience his first final in the middle of Allianz Stadium on Saturday night.
Like Tedesco, Mitchell loves the big moments on the big stage.
The pair featured in NSW's Origin series triumph, and they are looking more likely by the day to complete the premiership double.
Mitchell will have some concern over a crusher tackle on Josh Dugan. The centre was charged with a cannonball tackle just last weekend and already has 70 carryover points. Any charge that could be handed down by the match review committee on Sunday would mean an automatic stint on the sidelines.
Roosters coach Trent Robinson was not too concerned, and actually put some of the blame back on Dugan.
"If they go off, fine, but you can play for penalties at different times as well. That's up to someone else,'' Robinson said.
Prop Sio Siua Taukeiaho hobbled from the field in the opening minutes with an ankle injury.
Dylan Napa will still be unavailable until the grand final because of suspension.
At least Tedesco and Mitchell are on deck.
Christian covers rugby league for The Sydney Morning Herald.