FINALS time normally sees the pressure ramp up, but Helensburgh fullback Corey Willis says the Tigers are feeling a weight lifted ahead of Sunday's minor semi-final clash with Wests.
The Tigers have walked a tightrope to their first finals appearance in three seasons, scraping into fourth spot on for and against from Dapto in the final round.
It followed several weeks of playing under dark clouds of finals uncertainty but Willis says reaching the post-season has left his side with a single sharp focus.
"It was always our goal to get in the four and to be there is pretty excited," Willis said.
"Coming into the start of the year we knew we had a good mix of of guys and we were pretty confident in what we were doing. We've shown signs of what we were capable of each week.
"Finals is where we wanted to be and it's where we are which is great. We've been on a high at training and we're pretty excited about the opportunity we've got, that the season's not over and we get another crack at it."
The Burgh's last two outings ended in defeat but proved a handy finals audition having come against Thirroul and Collegians - teams one and two on the ladder.
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They'll be looking to break their duck against the heavyweights when they take on the Devils on Sunday and Willis says his side will be bringing a "nothing to lose mentality."
"It would've been nice to get a win throughout the year against one of them but it's finals time and anything can happen," he said.
"It's going to be tough but the good thing about finals is that whatever's happened previously doesn't matter. We're ready to put it all on the line and we've got pretty good belief as a club and as a group that we can stick it to these sides.
"The top three sides have really got all the pressure on them, Wests are defending premiers. We'll just go out there and play our style of footy and see how we go."
The diminutive star will have plenty to do with it if the Tigers can pull off the upset, having proven a revelation since being shifted into the No. 1 by coach Gavin Lennon this season.
"Gav was the one who suggested it and I said I'd play anywhere as long as I get a spot in the team," Willis said.
"It's been a challenge, coming into the year I hadn't played much fullback at all.
"It took me a few weeks through the VB Cup and the first few weeks of the comp to really figure out where I was supposed to be when we had the footy.
"He really pushed it, encouraged me and tipped me up where I needed to be tipped up. I'm enjoying it and it feels like I belong out there."