Coach John Morris insists those who believe Cronulla are in the NRL finals simply to make up the numbers are the same critics who thought the Sharks were destined for the wooden spoon.
The Sharks head to Canberra for Saturday's elimination final with most expecting the Raiders to ease into the second week of the post-season.
Adding fuel to the fire is the Sharks' failure to win a single match against a top eight opponent in 2020, including last weekend's 38-28 loss to a weakened Raiders team.
Morris, however, says that game is no guide on either team's form given the Sharks rested six of their own players and have halfback Chad Townsend back from suspension.
But he isn't angered by the way his team's chances have been dismissed, saying it's something they've been up against in 2020.
"People have written us off all year, to be honest. If we go back to the start of the year there wasn't very many experts who had us in the eight," Morris said.
"A lot had us getting the wooden spoon after the game was suspended and we were none from three.
"We've been under adversity all year, we've believed in ourselves all year and like I said there's eight other teams at home sitting and watching this game on TV.
"We're in there with a fighter's chance and whenever we've got that opportunity we'll make the most of it."
The Sharks head to nation's capital having won six of their past seven matches in Canberra including a stirring victory in 2016 on their way to the club's maiden premiership.
Morris says while both teams are vastly different from that game four years ago, the Sharks will be using that victory as motivation.
"(The) 2016 was a game where the Sharks were under a lot of adversity, Paul Gallen was ruled out, lost Wade Graham early in the game with a head knock, down 12-nil early in the game and really hung on and a really good win against the odds," Morris said.
"That's something that no doubt we'll reflect on ... certainly some lessons there to be learnt.
"If we go down there with that mindset we might be able to get under their guard."