The Green Machine are back, but Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart is adamant it can't be a one-off return to finals.
He's determined to build a period of sustained success at the club he played in three premierships for.
Part of that has been Stuart's re-signing for another three years, keeping him at Canberra until the end of 2023.
Stuart felt the past two years would form an important cog in shaping the Raiders' future.
As does their revamped defence, which has seen them become one of the most miserly teams in the NRL.
Canberra finished in the top four for the second time under Stuart's tenure, just as they did in 2016 when they burst onto the scene with an electric offence.
But they haven't played in back-to-back finals campaigns since 2004 and they struggled over the past two seasons, finishing 10th each time, before this year's bounce back.
Ensuring there isn't a repeat of those two years is at the forefront of Stuart's thinking.
"Putting this squad together at the start of this season I really thought that with a little bit of luck towards injury, winning some close games and getting our defence right, I thought there was a good opportunity this year that we could make the semi-finals and we spoke about making the top four," he told The Canberra Times.
"That's been achieved, but it's important from my position as head coach that we create longevity in the standing of being this strong, competitive club."
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A foundation of this season's success has been the English brigade Stuart's brought Down Under.
Plus, the blossoming of a batch of young guns who have announced themselves as stars of the future.
Sutton and John Bateman have brought Super League title winning experience with them, while recruit George Williams will add to that when he joins the Raiders for 2020.
Then there's the young brigade.
Nicoll-Klokstad has established himself as Canberra's custodian after playing just seven games for the New Zealand Warriors.
Corey Horsburgh, Emre Guler and Hudson Young have emerged in the forwards, while Bailey Simonsson can cover a number of spots in the backline.
"Having a thorough plan with recruitment and having a succession plan is important," Stuart said.
"The squad itself needs to be strong to win in such a tight competition.
"Then a lot of man management and cultural standards and behaviour is tied up in our squad.
"Fortunately at the moment we have a good leadership group that are developing quickly. We put a lot of work into that this year."
That leadership ties in with the maturing of the squad, which has been highlighted by a number of milestone matches for the Green Machine this season.
Jarrod Croker, Josh Hodgson, Sia Soliola, Joey Leilua, Aidan Sezer and Jack Wighton have all brought up important milestones.
Plus Soliola, Whitehead and Joe Tapine could add to that during the finals campaign.
Stuart also felt the squad had reacted positively to the heartache of the past two years.
Their struggles to win close games during that period were well known, with their defence unable to keep teams out when it mattered most.
"The resolve the players built through all the adversity and hard times of those close losses probably got us into this position this year because a weaker group would've fractured or splintered," Stuart said.
"It's really built some mental resilience. We've had to look at the detail in our game, we've had to build that resilience from a football point of view too and that had to be through our defence.
"We had to show a lot more patience with our attack ... we had to know our defence better than we did."
Stuart paid tribute to the work of his assistant coaches Andrew McFadden and Brett White for the job they've done in creating a lime green wall.
While they've been one of the highest scoring teams in the NRL for a number of years, stopping other teams score was the problem.
They were the fifth leakiest defence last season, but have become the third most miserly this campaign - behind just the Storm and reigning premiers Sydney Roosters.
Turning that around was the sole focus of the pre-season and now it will get its first test under finals pressure on Saturday.
"I explained to [McFadden and White] the style of defence I believed had to be the Raider way," Stuart said.
"Having the experience of Whitey, who's played in the middle, and Andrew, who defended as a wing and a half, have really put some great detail together structuring our defence.
"Then attitude comes back into it."
Raiders co-captain Jarrod Croker said Stuart's re-signing was a massive boost for the club going into the finals.
"Everyone's getting extensions, I might go and see [chief executive Don Furner]," he joked.
"That's a massive boost. Looking at the future of the club and where you want to be.
"Wanting to be at the club you want Ricky as your coach.
"It's massive confidence for the club, for Canberra and for all the boys that are here.
"They all love being coached by 'Stick' so for him to extend it's just another confidence boost for the rest of us to want to be here as well."
NRL QUALIFYING FINAL
Saturday: Canberra Raiders v Melbourne Storm at Melbourne, 5.40pm.
Raiders squad: 1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, 2. Nick Cotric, 3. Jarrod Croker (c), 4. Joey Leilua, 5. Jordan Rapana, 6. Jack Wighton, 7. Aidan Sezer, 8. Josh Papalii, 9. Josh Hodgson (c), 10. Sia Soliola, 11. John Bateman, 12. Elliott Whitehead, 13. Joe Tapine. Interchange: 14. Bailey Simonsson, 15. Dunamis Lui, 16. Corey Horsburgh, 17. Ryan Sutton. Reserves: 19. Emre Guler, 20. Siliva Havili.
Storm squad: 1. Ryan Papenhuyzen, 2. Suliasi Vunivalu, 3. Will Chambers, 4. Justin Olam, 5. Josh Addo-Carr, 6. Cameron Munster, 7. Jahrome Hughes, 8. Jesse Bromwich, 9. Cameron Smith, 10. Nelson Asofa-Solomona, 11. Felise Kaufusi, 12. Kenneath Bromwich, 13. Dale Finucane. Interchange: 14. Brandon Smith, 15. Tui Kamikamica, 16. Max King,17. Joe Stimson. Reserves: 18. Curtis Scott, 19. Tino Faasuamaleaui.