Starved of success for more than four decades, the Roosters shocked their cardinal and myrtle fans to the core in the stoush for the minor premiership.
Obviously, the Bunnies still have genuine claims for the title but - just like Sam Burgess and his face rub of James Maloney and squirrel grip on Will Chambers - the question has to be asked, do they have any tricks left up their sleeve?
Last year, they looked to be bearing down on an emotional grand final berth, when Adam Reynolds was injured and the Bulldogs powered their way back to snatch victory.
It will be very hard for Souths to lose tonight and take the long road to glory, but then again they've waited so long and haven't done anything easily since their golden run of the 1950s and resurgence in the late 60s, up until 1971.
If any team wants to prove they can handle finals pressure, it's the Rabbitohs.
Once the shining beacon for the Bulldogs in their hope for a premiership, can Barba produce a glimpse of last year's form to fire his team's finals campaign this time?
Barba sat on the bench on his return from injury in the shock loss to Brisbane last week, the team he will join next year after forcing his way out of the kennel on compassionate grounds.
Do the fans want him there?
Do his current teammates even want him there on Sunday?
If he scores a gamebreaking try against the Knights, those leaning towards "no" might just change their minds.
For the most part, though, the Bulldogs will need to hold on to the ball more often and have those big bodies in motion, which has been sorely lacking compared with the team that wowed the NRL last year.
The old saying lingers in the rugby league - most sports actually - about a coach being sacked and the team winning the following week.
In North Queensland's case, make it the past six weeks.
The Cowboys have been riding high to force their way into the eight, the rise perhaps tinged with a sense of guilt at failing to produce the kind of form that might have saved their coach earlier.
This week, Neil Henry conceded the turnaround does nothing to change the North Queensland board members' minds about their decision. But it might enhance his prospects, with scuttlebutt emerging about a future at Parramatta, or possibly even St George Illawarra, if Steve Price cannot turn the Dragons around next year.
After reaching the finals, Henry's biggest concern will be ensuring the Cowboys don't suffer a mental letdown now they're into September action against the Sharks tomorrow.
Unlike their AFL rivals Essendon, Cronulla have a finals campaign to look forward to tomorrow.
The Bombers were told in the lead-up to the finals they would be banned from finals for bringing the game into disrepute over their supplements program, which ASADA is now investigating.
The Sharks are also under the spotlight of the anti-doping body, but the NRL's new regime, led by Dave Smith, has declined to tread the same path as the AFL over on-field penalties.
Along the way, the Sharks have knocked off some top teams, including their Monday night victory over minor premiers the Roosters.
However, after all the anxiety and confusion over ASADA's investigation, have they got anything left in the tank against a Cowboys team playing with nothing to lose?
Will he play? Is he fit enough? Is Widdop putting a World Cup campaign or even a fresh start at pre-season training with St George Illawarra next year at risk by trying to return from a dislocated hip?
Widdop was named on an extended bench for tonight's clash with Souths, but even if he doesn't play this week, the door might open next week, if they lose, or in a preliminary final, if they win.
The defending premiers haven't quite been the all-conquering unit they once were, but Widdop is a special player and could be the spark to lift them to defend their crown.
Dragons fans lamenting a season of woe will be keeping an eye on their prized recruit.