Captain-coach Matt Coelho said it would be his team's grand final and that's exactly how the Jamberoo Superoos approached Saturday's duel with title favourites Warilla.
But the Superoos' wholehearted effort still wasn't enough, as the home side ground out a 30-14 victory.
Jamberoo signalled their intentions from the get-go, rocking the Gorillas with some big hits and drawing first blood with an early try.
Warilla happily accepted the challenge, hitting back with a try and working their way to a 16-4 half-time lead.
The sting gradually went out of the Roos' defence in the second half and the Gorillas chalked up their 14th win of the season.
"The first 20 minutes was real semi-final-type football," Warilla coach Peter Hooper said.
"We knew they'd come ready to play and try to out-enthuse us, but we held our ground and continued on our way.
"If they'd maintained that intensity of the first 20 minutes for 80 minutes, we would've been in for a hard day, but the amount of work they put into the first 20 with numbers in tackles, it was going to be tiring for them. We just had to be patient and weather the storm."
Gorillas centre Tyson Brown scored two tries, while Jarryd Pepper, Damien Paulissen, Aaron Henry and Ryan Johnston grabbed a try apiece.
Jamberoo's try-scorers were Kyle Stokes, Jono Dallas and James Asquith.
"It was semi-final football come early and that's obviously good for us going into the real thing," Hooper said.
''Destiny's in our own hands as far as the minor premiership is concerned. We've got Nowra this week so it'll be more of the same of what we've faced in the last couple of weeks, and that's ideal preparation for the finals.''
Nowra-Bomaderry secured a finals berth with Saturday night's 36-14 win over Berry-Shoalhaven Heads at Nowra Showground.
The Jets cannot finish any lower than third due to Gerringong's surprise loss to Albion Park-Oak Flats on Sunday.