THEY were the heart and soul of the Wests Tigers team that sunk St George Illawarra in that memorable 2005 preliminary final.
Now, Robbie Farah, Benji Marshall, Chris Heighington and Liam Fulton are ready to inflict another dose of finals heartache on the Dragons - even if know no one else gives them a hope.
The premiership-winning quartet are convinced the tough run to the grand final qualifier has them primed to repeat the heroics of '05.
On a high after Friday’s 24-22 win over Canberra, Farah said the side’s mental toughness would prove the doubters wrong after many wrote off the Tigers following the golden point loss to the Roosters.
And the Tigers’ skipper says the confidence was only heightened by the bounce back from last week’s heartbreaking loss.
“We knew with a win this week last week would be forgotten,” Farah told The Daily Telegraph. "It was tough to get over last week - I won’t lie about that.
"Losing like that heart-breaking, but credit to every individual. We pulled together. Liam and Heighny were really down in the dumps, and I was down in the dumps, but we stuck solid.
“For us to bounce back it just goes to show how mentally tough we are.”
Farah said the side had continually shown its ability to recover from adversity.
“Every time we’ve been knocked down we’ve bounced back and rebounded the next week,” he said.
"We got lapped by Souths and the knives were out and we came back and made something of our season and again. We could have easily come down [to Canberra] and lost.
“We could have made excuses, but we didn’t and now we’re one win away from a grand final.”
Farah insists the 2005 final will be meaningless on Saturday, declaring “that’s been and gone now”.
It’s a view shared by Heighington, Fulton and Marshall, at least publicly, as they acknowledge the improvement needed to over-turn the 34-10 round 19 defeat they suffered to the Dragons in their own clash this year.
But as Heighington says, with a hint of mind games, the Tigers are right where they want to be.
“We can go into the game and most of the pressure is on them,” he said.
“We can just throw what we’ve got at them.”
Fulton says the Tigers have the game to defy the Dragons defence - but only if the pack “does them justice”.
“We’ve got these special players - Farah, Benji, Robert Lui playing really well together and that’s a bit of an X-factor for us,” he said.
"No one can match that.
“But it’s up to us forwards to stand up to give them the chance. It will come down to a good team performance.”
The Tigers will face a refreshed Dragons, who have sat back and rested this weekend while they slugged it out with the Raiders.
But Fulton says the gruelling run has them primed rather than fatigued.
“They would have loved us to get a bit bashed up, which we probably did because they’ve got a big team, but coming off two big games like that we’ve got great strength and conditioning,” he said.
“We’ll freshen up and I reckon it can only help us.”
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