Cronulla fullback Michael Gordon says the Sharks have the belief they can beat anyone with or without star playmaker Todd Carney as he battles a hamstring injury ahead of Friday night's semi-final with Manly.
Having overcome North Queensland on Saturday night in a controversial 20-18 elimination final win, the Sharks quickly turned their attention to the Sea Eagles and the health of their undisputed star.
Carney took a hamstring injury into the Cowboys clash after two weeks on the sidelines, but strained the muscle again in the dying stages of the dramatic win.
"We said from the start, we know we're capable of going all the way; we can match it with any team," Gordon said.
"Hopefully Toddy's more precautionary, a bit of fatigue - no matter who we put out there, we're confident of winning."
The Sharks also have some concern over NSW Origin prop Andrew Fifita but, with one of the deepest forward packs in the competition, his absence would not be as telling as Carney's.
Cronulla are, however, accustomed to adversity in a season in which the ASADA investigation threatened to destroy their premiership campaign.
Gordon admitted the toughness of that experience had filtered through to on-field performances, such as the grit shown in the come-from-behind win over the Cowboys.
Still, being out of the top four, they have never been considered serious title contenders, despite beating both teams already booked in preliminary finals in a fortnight.
"We'd probably prefer not to be talked about - it's been the way we've been all year," Gordon said.
"We haven't flown under the radar, but we've been in the headlines for the wrong reasons for most of the year - it's been good to sneak through and play good footy.
"The best thing is we've all stuck together.
"I suppose you could say it (the ASADA investigation) has bonded us a lot stronger.
"It shows in games like that we're a tightknit bunch of blokes and we want to be their with each other."
Gordon had little sympathy for the Cowboys after their unfortunate exit, with the Sharks' opening try coming on the seventh tackle.
"I had no idea - I'm not out there counting tackles," he said.
"I suppose I could say I feel sorry for them but I don't really."