Star Wests fullback Brad Scott says the Devils can't afford to dwell on letting a top-two berth slip through their fingers as they face elimination against Collegians on Sunday in week one of the 2014 finals.
After setting lofty standards early on, injuries hampered the middle part of the Devils' season, allowing Helensburgh and Thirroul to shoot ahead in the race for a top-two spot.
That was before the Devils stamped themselves as serious premiership contenders in the penultimate round with a thumping 40-4 win over Helensburgh; handing the Tigers their first home loss of the year.
They had a top-two finish seemingly in their grasp as they led minor premiers Thirroul 18-4 with 20 minutes to play in their final-round match last week only for the Butchers to storm home with the final three tries to snatch a 20-18 victory.
The loss means Wests have come up short against the Butchers on all three occasions this year but Scott said the performances against the two competition front runners had convinced his side they could claim this year's title.
"We can definitely go all the way if we stick together and grind out a few wins. I think we've definitely hit form at the right end of the season," Scott said.
While keen for another crack at the Butchers, Scott said his side certainly won't be looking past the defending premiers on Sunday, wary of Illawarra rep teammates Jimmy Storer, Alipate Noilea and Jarrod Thompson.
"They've been a bit hit and miss all year and the last couple of weeks they've had their Country players out but they only need a few of their gun players to fire and you just can't stop them once Jimmy gets them going forward," Scott said.