Long-suffering Eels fans have seen their side come close to breaking their long drought several times in recent seasons, only to miss out on reaching the grand final.
A place in the final is almost certain, but from there, half-back Mitchell Moses will have to be the man to guide the eels to the promised land.
A well-rounded side with plenty of punching power, they are set for another strong campaign and the Test victory over Premiers Penrith last weekend was an eye-catching one.
READ MORE: Ukrainian tennis star Svitolina says she won’t face Russia
READ MORE: Mark Taylor mocks Shane Warne’s mind-blowing claim
READ MORE: Ashton Agar threatened with death on the eve of a Pakistani series
Tension mounts in Panthers-Eels clash
Final ranking 2021: 6th
Earnings : Bailey Simonsson (Raiders), Mitch Rein (Titans).
Losses: Joey Lussick (St. Helens), Blake Ferguson (Rugby Union), Michael Oldfield (released), Sam Hughes (released), Will Smith (Titans), Keegan Hipgrave (retired).
Best 17: 1. Clint Gutherson, 2. Maika Sivo, 3. Will Penisini, 4. Waqa Blake, 5. Bailey Simonsson, 6. Dylan Brown, 7. Mitch Moses, 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard, 9. Reed Mahoney, 10. Junior Paulo, 11. Isaiah Papali’i, 12. Ryan Matterson, 13. Nathan Brown, 14. Marata Niukore, 15. Shaun Lane, 16. Oregon Kaufusi, 17. Bryce Cartwright
Greatest strength: As good a spine as it gets in the NRL, with full-back Clint Gutherson, halves Dylan Brown and Moses and hooker Reed Mahoney forming a devastating combination.
The biggest question mark: The Eels have been quiet in the transfer market over the summer and depth could become an issue if injured. Already promising winger Haze Dunster is out for the year and star flanker Maika Sivo will miss the opening rounds.
Man under pressure: In his time, Moses is the equal of any halfback in the competition – he just needs to find his day more often. If he does, the Eels could be in the top four.
Biggest loss: Aggressive striker Keegan Hipgrave gave an already strong pack an x-factor. His big hits and solid runs will be missed after an injury forced him into retirement.
Final position planned for 2022: 6th
For a daily dose of the best news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by by clicking here!
Stories and controversies behind all the Clive Churchill Medal winners from the NRL era