Cameron Smith tried every trick he knew to try to break the near-impregnable Sydney Roosters defence in their preliminary final win over the Storm.
Another batch of that intensity served up to the Canberra Raiders in Sunday's NRL grand final should deliver the same result again for the Roosters, according to the former Test and Origin skipper.
Don't forget Smith bore the brunt of trying to find a way through the Raiders as well in the past two weeks of finals.
"I think it's going to be a great game. Both sides play totally different styles of footy," Smith said in the SCG sheds after the 14-6 loss in Saturday's preliminary final.
"But if the Roosters come out and play the way they did tonight, particularly defend the way they did, then I think they may go back-to-back."
Smith's season is now over, after he retired from representative football in early 2018. It gives him some time to reflect on whether Storm's minor premiership-winning season was 'a winner' or an opportunity lost.
"Bit of both I think," he said.
The Storm's preliminary final loss was only their sixth in 27 games this year.
"Look it was a really good season. We won the minor premiership by three games, so to finish on top after 25 weeks is a really difficult thing to do.
"As we found out over the past three weeks it's really hard to make a grand final as well.
"We were involved in the last three grand finals, which is another really great achievement, but we fell short this year... we let a golden opportunity slip.
"As disappointing as it is to lose I still think it's been a very successful year for this club."
Match: Roosters v Storm
Finals Week 3 -
Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney
- Nine Network
- LIVE PASS
As he spoke, he looked around the subdued Storm dressing room and managed a few smiles as he saw the talent that he'd helped develop into quality first graders in 2019.
"Guys like Jahrome Hughes, Brandon Smith, Harry Grant, Ryan Papenhuyzen, even Brodie Croft... have given me a different role not only during the games but during the week. It's almost like I've been a bit of a coach to those fellas.
"I've really enjoyed that different role. I think those guys have certainly shown their capabilities and there are a lot of consistent performers now in our side, who aren't what you might call experienced - under 50 [NRL] games," Smith said.
"But they've been a huge part of getting us to a preliminary final."
Now Smith gets a chance to rest up and reflect a bit more. The main topic of discussion in a few weeks, as the Storm prepares for the 2020 pre-season? Does Cameron Smith want to go around for a 19th NRL season?
"I don't know yet... we wanted to go one extra week tonight.... I need to get over this loss first."
Tickets for the NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final 2019 are now on sale to the general public.