Had Mitchell Pearce been content to come off the bench and play second fiddle to Sydney Roosters star halfback recruit Cooper Cronk back in late 2017, he may well be gunning for his second straight premiership win on Sunday.
Instead, the Newcastle captain has been a frustrated spectator, on the outside looking in, for the past two NRL finals series with the Knights bombing out of contention in both years.
"But I haven't got any regrets - none at all," Pearce told the Newcastle Herald yesterday with the Roosters attempting to win back-to-back premierships for the first time in 26 years when they take on the Canberra Raiders at ANZ Stadium.
"I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little bit envious of what the Roosters have been able to achieve and yeah, I could have hung around and maybe played in number 14 off the bench and won two more comps.
"That was what was suggested I do at the time but it was not something I ever really even considered. I just saw the challenge of coming to the Knights as something I wanted to take on and nothing has changed as far as that goes."
In his two seasons in Newcastle, the Knights have finished 11th on both occasions, leaving the 2013 premiership winner sidelined for the big end of season games. It's not a feeling he enjoys.
"I've actually found it really tough watching the finals when you're not a part of it," Pearce said.
"All the regrets and missed opportunities from the year come flooding back and I haven't enjoyed watching at all to be honest. But I think that's a good thing. It means I'm still really hungry and if I wasn't feeling like that, I'd be questioning whether it actually means enough to me.
"I just hope all the boys in our squad are feeling exactly the same way I am."
While he is tipping a Roosters win, Pearce believes the Knights should be inspired by what the Raiders have achieved this season.
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Prior to this season, the Raiders had made the play-offs just once since 2012 and finished 10th in the past two years.
"The Raiders over the last however many years, haven't really been in the picture too much," Pearce said. "They were up there three years ago but haven't done much the past couple of years.
"But here they are at the pointy end on the biggest stage and they are the talk of the town and the competition.
"Why shouldn't we be taking some inspiration out of what they have been able to achieve. There wasn't too many people expecting them to do too much this season. I doubt they would have even been in many people's top eight before a ball was kicked.
"Yet, here they are in a grandfinal and not without a chance of causing a big upset. From our point of view, they have shown what can happen when you work really hard and have the right sort of mental attitude and resolve.
"Sticky [coach Ricky Stuart] has them really believing in themselves and they are not an easy side to beat because they play an unorthodox style. Above anything else, they really play for one another.
"Honestly, there is no reason why that can't be us next year if we knuckle down and give it a really good crack."
Meanwhile, Pearce was the leading Knights player, finishing equal 10th in the Dally M Medal count on Wednesday night with 18 points, 16 points behind winner, Roosters fullback James Tedesco.
Tedesco won by three points from Melbourne Storm skipper Cameron Smith with Parramatta Eels halfback Mitchell Moses in third spot on 29 points.
The bulk of Pearce's points came from five consecutive man-of-the-match performances from round seven through to round 11. He also picked up major points when the Knights beat the Cowboys in round 22 but did not poll in any other games.
The Knights' top five in the medal count consisted of Pearce, David Klemmer , Kalyn Ponga , Connor Watson  and Mason Lino .
The club's player of the year and Danny Buderus Medal winner Mitch Barnett polled just two points in the Dally M count.
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