Bonding, banter and brutal training sessions have turned Penrith's dodgy defence into the best in the NRL within the space of a season.
And the man behind that remarkable turnaround is assistant coach Cameron Ciraldo.
The Panthers finished last year conceding almost 20 points a game (19.74), compared with the 12.8 in 2020 that has earned them the title of the best defence in the NRL.
That improvement has helped take them from a 10th-place finish in 2019 to Sunday's grand final - a great leap forward for the youngest team in the competition.
"There's been a lot of work that's gone into it but at the end of the day you could do the same things with different players and get different results," Ciraldo said on Saturday.
"These guys have bought into it and they've worked really hard.
"Some of the stuff we put them through in the pre-season defensively was really solid. They ate that up and got better every day.
"That's all we can ask.
"They've bought into it, it's their energy and their vibe, and the attitude they put into their defence has made us a really good defensive team."
But it is the way Ciraldo relates to the young side that has perhaps made the biggest difference.
Ask any of Penrith's grand finalists and they will describe him as a "legend" who loves a joke.
But perhaps the biggest joke he played this year was on himself.
After wrapping up the minor premiership Ciraldo made a bet with the side that if they could hold Canterbury scoreless in the final game of the regular season he would give them $500.
As well as the added cash incentive, success would hand the Panthers an average of 12 points or fewer per game conceded for the season.
And after they thumped the Bulldogs 42-0 in the final round, Ciraldo made good on his bet by dumping the money - made up of 100 five-dollar notes - onto the players at a team meeting.
"That still hurts me because giving away $500, I'm not used to doing that," he said.
"I thought going into the last game, we'd wrapped up the minor premiership, it would be a nice little incentive to go after and they know how much I love my money.
"They did go after it and they got it. It hurt me having to give them the $500.
"They scooped up about $485 and we had to check the video back because Api Koroisau put about three five-dollar notes in his pocket.
"I don't know if the boys got that back actually."
The Panthers got through their captain's run on Saturday morning with the same energy - a loud boom box and no signs of nerves ahead of Sunday's grand final.
"There's an excitement in the air but they handled themselves really well," Ciraldo said.
"They're relaxed, they've ticked every box in their preparation so they're ready to go for tomorrow."
Australian Associated Press