An upset win away in Newcastle would be one of the biggest victories of Ricky Stuart's lengthy NRL coaching career, but the Canberra mentor's record in finals shouldn't be underestimated.
Stuart has won seven of his eight first-week finals matches throughout his career, his most recent triumph last season's 28-20 elimination final upset of Melbourne away from home.
In fact, the 20-year coaching veteran boasts a better winning percentage in finals than in the regular season with each of the three NRL club's he's guided in finals campaigns.
The Raiders are longshots with bookmakers for Sunday's clash but have received a welcome boost with news NSW State of Origin representative Hudson Young has re-signed.
The second-rower had already been tied to the club through 2024 but will now stay put until at least the end of 2027.
As they attempt to prove the doubters wrong against Newcastle, star prop Joe Tapine suggested Stuart's motivational message would bring out the inner "mongrel" in the Raiders.
"No one's really got any confidence we're going to win the game and (Stuart) really fires you up in that sense," Tapine told AAP.
"You want to prove people wrong, you want to go real mongrel and do the hard stuff to get the result.
"And that's not gonna be any different this weekend."
Stuart's dedication to his players can't be questioned.
He sobbed through a farewell speech to departing duo Jack Wighton and Jarrod Croker at Tuesday's club awards ceremony, with the former expecting he'd cook up some sort of plan to stifle the Knights.
"'Sticky' just loves winning, that's the thing," Wighton told AAP.
"It filters through to the players, he tries to get everybody to do the same thing."
The newest Raider - last week's debutant Hohepa Puru - has already noticed the love and pride his coach brings after he called on the 21-year-old at such a crucial time of the year.
"On the weekend, he just said 'you're not here to fill shoes, there's no pressure on you mate, I just want you to enjoy your first game," Puru told AAP.
"He told me he's just as proud as my mum would be with me so that meant the world.
"He's got every belief in me that I have nothing to worry about, so that means the world and gives me the confidence to go out there and do what I think I can do best."