Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan won't cop the suggestion the race for this year's title is a closed shop.
Not by a long shot.
This season has long been regarded as one of the most open competitions in years.
But talk of a two-horse race had entered the fray due to the talk of the in-form Melbourne and Sydney Roosters before South Sydney's upset win over the Storm on Friday night.
Regardless, Flanagan insists any team from the closest top eight of this century is still in the hunt.
"There are two or four points between us and No.1. You lose two or three over the next couple of weeks you're back in the field or you could be out of the four," Flanagan said.
"It's obvious but the next month is really going to decide what happens."
And by that, Flanagan insisted his team should not be ruled out.
"I think they have played well the Storm and the Roosters the past couple of weeks," Flanagan said.
"Prior to that Souths were on fire. Penrith have had their moments. And we've had our moments within games but haven't put 80 minutes together. Hopefully that's coming.
"You've got to hold that form for over a month and I think it's going to be really interesting and a really good finals series with a lot of competitive games."
Cronulla will welcome Josh Dugan back from a leg injury for Sunday's clash against Manly, while Wade Graham is also expected to return from a rib injury.
It marks just the second time this season the Sharks have been at full strength, and it comes at a vital time after their 12-10 loss to Brisbane.
"We were probably ready to play a couple of days straight after the Broncos," Flanagan said.
"We had some opportunities and we didn't take them in the end."
STATS THAT MATTER
* Cronulla have won just 27 per cent of matches against Manly - their worst strike-rate for any opponent.
* Despite Manly's lowly ladder position, they have still scored more points in attack than Cronulla this year.
* Valentine Holmes needs two more tries to equal the most potent ever season by a Shark.