No Sam Burgess, no John Sutton, no George Burgess, no hope. Or at least that's what plenty of us thought about South Sydney this year.
The Rabbitohs just wouldn't have the aggression in the pack to match the heavyweights like the Sydney Roosters and Melbourne Storm.
And it was a fair call, too, when one of the most inspirational forwards of the modern era in Sam Burgess was forced to retire with a shoulder complaint.
Souths desperately needed an aggressive forward to step up. Back-rower Jaydn Su'A has delivered.
The Samoan international has excelled, bringing an intimidation factor to the pack.
Plenty of the greats (think Sam Burgess, Gorden Tallis) make it personal with the opposition. They have to win every contest, every moment.
Tom Raudonikis used to think an opponent had done something bad to his family, so motivation was never an issue for the feisty and long-time Australian halfback.
Su'A can't be mentioned in the same sentence as that trio just yet, but if he keeps improving like he has this year, there's no limit on how far he can go.
In the pre-season, the forward suggested he was sick of saying it's a big year for him and failing to deliver.
After his standout performances, the hard-running, hard-tackling Su'A has nothing to worry about on that front.