St George Illawarra NYC coach Justin Holbrook says his side can't afford to rest on its laurels ahead of today's preliminary finals clash against Penrith.
The Dragons managed 10 wins from their past 13 games to secure the final play-offs spot in the national under 20s division.
But Holbrook has been quick to remind his charges that their fairy-tale comeback could be destroyed in an instant if they don't turn up against fifth-placed Penrith.
"The boys worked really hard all year to make it, particularly the second half of the season, and I'm really happy for them," Holbrook said.
"We did what we had to do for the boys to get in, and I don't know why anyone would want to rest on their laurels now we're here.
"The boys want to do well and there's no reason why we shouldn't do well.
"To make it, we've beaten all the good sides. We've definitely earned the right to be there and we want to win."
The Dragons youth side began its 2012 campaign in miserable fashion, winning only three of its opening 11 encounters.
Holbrook attributed the meteoric turnaround to his side's ability to finish off games.
"We got the confidence up once we won a few, and it was the boys' self-belief more than anything that triggered it," he said. "In the semis, every team's good now, but we figure that we've got the momentum going into the semis and if we just continue on with that then hopefully we can get a win.
"Even though we've come in at eighth, there's no advantage for Penrith. You don't get a home advantage or anything like that"
Meanwhile, Dragons winger Jason Nightingale has been ruled out of the Kiwis squad to play Australia next month because of a knee injury. The 25-year-old has been forced to undergo knee surgery before the Test at Townsville's Dairy Farmers Stadium on October 13.