Intrust Super Premiership-winning Cutters skipper Tyrone McCarthy pushed through the pain to play two finals games with a torn quad.
When Adam Quinlan left the Dragons in January last year he never thought he'd find himself back at his local club, let alone become a premiership winner.
A field goal from Cutters halfback Drew Hutchison proved the difference in Illawarra's 21-20 victory over minor premiers Mounties at Pirtek Stadium on Sunday.
The Roosters have progressed to the Holden Cup grand final for the first time in the club's history with a come-from-behind win over the Dragons.
Cutters coach Jason Demetriou could add another title to his impressive resume as Illawarra prepare to face Mounties in the Intrust Super Premiership final.
The top two sides in the 2016 Intrust Super Premiership face off for this season's title and the right to represent NSW in the State Championship.
History will be made on Friday night with one of these teams set to progress to the Holden Cup grand final for the first time in their history.
Josh Dugan says he is happy to resume fullback duties for the Dragons in 2017 despite starting this season in the centres with a view to remain there long-term.
Drew Hutchison may have the Intrust Super Premiership grand final to concentrate on this week but he can't deny he has his eyes on another big prize in 2017.
Star back-rower Tyson Frizell has agreed to terms on a three-year contract extension to remain at St George Illawarra until at least the end of the 2020 season.