Dane Gagai has experienced all the highs of a rugby league career ... except one.
Over the past decade he has won World Cups with Australia and State of Origin series with Queensland.
But there is a space in his trophy cabinet next to his 2017 Wally Lewis Medal - a premiership ring.
After three bites of the cherry he has repeatedly come away with a bitter taste in his mouth, and at 29 time is running out to achieve what he arrived at South Sydney to do.
"That's what everyone plays for, to win a grand final, and I've never been to one," he told AAP ahead of Saturday's preliminary final against Penrith.
"I've been to a fair few prelims but this will be my fourth one and I've fallen short every time.
"That definitely sits there, the pain of not being able to compete to get a premiership but we're in a position now where we can again.
"It's been do or die for us since week one of the finals but if we lose (against Penrith), then we have to start all over again.
"That's something every team will do but it's not where you want to be.
"You want to get to the end goal and hold up the trophy."
Gagai's first preliminary final came with Newcastle in 2013 under Wayne Bennett, when the Knights were rocked by an injury to then-skipper Danny Buderus and were rolled 40-14 by eventual premiers Sydney Roosters.
He waited another four years for his next shot at South Sydney, playing two preliminary finals across the past two seasons under Anthony Seibold and Bennett.
Each time the Rabbitohs came up short.
Set to turn 30 in January, Gagai is closer to the end of his NRL career than the start and is painfully aware of how rare finals opportunities are.
If Souths are unable to upset the odds against the Panthers on Saturday, all of the hard work of the season will be for nothing.
"It's a tough one because you spend all season preparing to get to the big game, and to fall a game short is disappointing," he says.
"It's like everything is for nothing and you have to start all over again."
The 2020 season has been far from smooth sailing for the Rabbitohs, who have had to deal with off-field scandals, injury to star fullback Latrell Mitchell and patchy form.
But when the pressure has been the most intense over the past three weeks, Souths have turned their rocks into diamonds.
Errors have been high but the points have been higher and Gagai puts the team's success down to an infectious attitude from the side's younger players.
"That's something that definitely drew me to this club, the players like Cameron Murray and Campbell Graham, all of those young players," he says.
"They just have the will to win, they're not just happy playing first grade.
"It's infectious and everyone has that desire that we don't want to lose games.
"We didn't want Mad Monday.
"We want to win the premiership. That's all it is and we believe that we can do it."
Off the field, the father of two has been enjoying the bubble life with his partner Kelly and sons Dante and Cruz.
At this point of the season many NRL players are itching to live life as normally as much of the rest of the population - to sit at a cafe for a coffee or go to the beach with family.
But for Gagai, the coronavirus-enforced restrictions have given him time to focus on his rest and recovery as he looks to secure that elusive premiership.
"I have a great partner who is looking after the kids and doing everything she can to help me," he says.
"It'll all be over soon and we'll be out of the bubble but at the moment I'm enjoying where I'm at.
"We've got a great opportunity to get to a grand final and whatever it takes to get there I'll do it."