TWIN towers Daniel and Jacob Saifiti will be hoping to celebrate their new deals with the Newcastle Knights with a breakthrough win against Melbourne Storm at CBus Super Stadium on Saturday.
In a major coup for the club, Daniel has extended his contract by a further four seasons, until the end of 2026, while Jacob has earned an additional two years.
The 25-year-old front-rowers, who debuted for the Knights in round one, 2016, still had a season to run on their current contracts and would have been entitled to start negotiating with rival outfits from November 31.
Instead they now appear well on their way towards becoming one-club players.
"They went through some really tough times as young men - 18 years old and playing in the middle," O'Brien said.
"To see them come out the other side, and how much they've grown individually and as players ... I'm really grateful that those guys have put their faith in the club.
"This is where they want to be moving forward."
The Saifitis and a host of their teammates - including Kalyn Ponga, Mitchell Barnett, Lachlan Fitzgibbon, Josh King and Brodie Jones - have never played in a winning team against Melbourne, who have now dominated Newcastle in nine consecutive games, dating back to 2016.
Newcastle's away record against Melbourne - five wins from 25 games - is horrendous, but at least this game will be played on neutral turf after the rushed decision by the Storm to evacuate Victoria and base themselves in Queensland.
O'Brien was hopeful that moving the game away from the Storm's AAMI Park fortress would improve his team's chances.
"I'd have to look at it as a positive," he said. "It doesn't guarantee a result, but you don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that Melbourne in Melbourne are a pretty formidable opponent, so you take your joy where you can get it."
O'Brien says if his team can perform at the same level they did in consecutive wins against the Warriors and North Queensland, they would give themselves a chance.
"There's certainly some belief in the team ... but right now, I think the opposition is irrelevant," he said.
"We just need to keep banking some wins and keep ourselves in and around the eight. It just happens that we're playing Melbourne this week."
Adding to the challenge, veteran playmaker Mitchell Pearce looks set to miss the game with a hamstring problem.
"Mitchell Pearce has got some awareness in his hamstring at the moment," O'Brien said.
"We haven't been able to scan him as yet so until that happens I'd lean toward withdrawing Mitchell and play the long game with him rather than risk him ... the smart thing to do is to be patient there."
O'Brien was confident fullback Kalyn Ponga would back up after Origin III.