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Raiders centre Elliott Whitehead

It's been 25 years since the Raiders won their last premiership but coach Ricky Stuart will do everything in his power to keep his players' feet on the ground.

That will be no easy task as the 12-10 win over Storm at AAMI Park in Saturday's qualifying final has sling-shotted the Raiders into the preliminary finals.

That game will be played before fanatical fans at GIO Stadium, spectators who have been seeking a return to the glory days for over two decades.

Stuart's juggling act will be to embrace what his side has achieved – after placing 10th the past two seasons – but not start thinking about premiership rings just yet.

"I haven't told anybody we can win the comp," Stuart said.

"I think as you build and put a roster together you know how good a footy team they can be. But then again, they've got to buy into the vision you set and get to the standards set.

Match Highlights: Storm v Raiders

"I'll let the boys enjoy one another's company back at the hotel. It's important they enjoy the occasion with their families and friends. Then it's heads-on tomorrow and we start work again."

Stuart said a bubble of one-sided support in Canberra bubble would not consume his team.

"I'm not trying to keep a lid on things or downplaying that win," Stuart said of Canberra's second over Storm in Melbourne within a month.

"But we won't get involved in the Canberra bubble because there'll be a lot of excitement and hype. But we will not be distracted in our focus for the game at home.

Stuart: Its nice to have some talent

"We've got to live in our own bubble – and that won't be the Canberra bubble.

"We will be professional and stick to our task in what has got us here."

Stuart couldn't resist feeling a little vindicated that he has a team deep in the finals after some disappointments – losing grand finals with the Roosters in 2003 and 2004 and two preliminary finals (Sharks in 2008, and Raiders 2016).

Falling from top-four to 10th in 2017 and 2018 brought plenty of criticism of Stuart's methods.

"I've got better players than I've had over the years ... I don't say that disrespectfully to all the other boys that have played in the green jumper. But I think we've got a really talented football squad here now and that really helps," he said.

"If you're playing against talent then you need talent – it doesn't matter what game plan or strategies you've got. If you haven't got talent it makes it so much harder.

Bateman scores crucial try after Addo-Carr spills the ball

"I've been on the receiving end with a lack of talent for years and years and been told I can't coach. It's just nice to have some talent now."

The other turn-around for the Raiders in 2019 is not losing the tight games, which became a familiar theme over the past two seasons.

"We speak about composure and practise composure a hell of a lot. You can only have composure if you have belief ... It just doesn't happen overnight," Stuart said.

"You can't have composure if you're showing poor emotions and panicking. It's something that has helped us through a number of tight games.

"The work we've put into it has helped us win those tight games."

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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