It might have been the toughest match-up they've faced since the start of the season, but the Penrith Panthers experienced elation on Saturday as they scraped past the Rabbitohs to book their first grand final in 17 years.
While the foot of the mountain no doubt would have been roaring when the Panthers came out on top of a hard-fought 20 - 16 scoreline, the western region would have been right behind them, with key moments for Dubbo's Isaah Yeo during the all important preliminary final.
Speaking with NRL.COM immediately after the game, lock Yeo called the victory 'beautiful' and welcomed the chance at a premiership in his seventh year with the club.
"Obviously, it's been a strange old year, but I think we've handled it really well, it's a massive effort to make it to the grand final," Yeo said.
"Particularly after that game just then, it definitely could have gone either way, so yeah, great way to finish that game and obviously being in the grand final now, you beauty."
There were plenty of hair-raising moments and dropped ball throughout both halves of the game for both sides, but Yeo stood tall when it counted, with an uncharacteristically aggressive performance delivering the goods.
"I don't hit the clear too often, so it was nice to get in there a couple of times," Yeo said.
"It was such a tiring game, it's hard to loosen up at the back end of the half, so we were able to take the opportunity there."
A rough second half start for the Panthers was salvaged by Yeo, who broke clear through the Rabbitohs line before handing off to Dylan Edwards to restart the Penrith's attack and provide four desperately needed points.
Yeo fended off Mark Nicholls and Damien Cook to set up the opportunity, which launched the Panthers back into the front and seal the game.
Braith Anasta, live from the commentary box, called the moment the 'play of the year' for the Panthers playing roster and applauded Yeo, who was humble as ever following the match-winning effort.
"I'm not quite sure what happened, it bounced off me left and things opened up a bit, I'm not very quick, so I was just looking for anyone in support, I had Dylan on my left and Nat on my right and Dylan was the easier pass," Yeo said.
The toughness of both sides impressed on the day, with Yeo paying credit to Souths for making it as close a battle as it was, while also being grateful for his own team's fitness.
"The resilience, they started well and got the jump on us, but I thought we were defending well, we're a very resilient side and a fit side," Yeo said.
The experienced lock went on to say that he's hopeful that a strong Dubbo contingent will be present at next week's grand final at ANZ stadium.
"I think so, we're a big family, so I think they'll all be coming out of the woodworks next week."