Hannah Southwell saw how a large and loud home crowd lifted the Newcastle Knights men in their sudden death final with Canberra just over one week ago.
She believes similar support could provide an edge for Newcastle's NRLW side too when they host Brisbane in a sudden death semi-final at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
As minor premiers, Newcastle earned hosting rights in a semi-final for the first time.
A win over the fourth-placed Broncos will book another grand final appearance for the defending NRLW champions.
It is a big moment for the players, the club and the town.
"It's huge, for myself and all of the local girls," Southwell told the Newcastle Herald on Monday.
"We've never had that before. Newcastle have never been minor premiers before in men and women's teams, and to have a home semi is unreal.
"We saw what happened when the boys played at home in the finals series and how close that game was. I feel like the crowd was definitely a factor in why they won in the end.
"I know Newy is going to turn up for us, especially being a semi, so I'm very excited."
The home-grown Knights lock and captain watched nervously from the sidelines as Newcastle made their first NRLW finals appearance last year.
Southwell ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee in Newcastle's first game of the 2022 season and returned this campaign after a lengthy rehabilitation process.
"I feel like I'm the strongest I've ever been, and probably the happiest as well," the 24-year-old said.
"I'm just enjoying footy. I'm not pushing for an Australian selection or a NSW Blues selection. I'm just here to play footy for Newcastle and enjoy it with my sister [Jesse] and my best friends."
Jesse copped a cork in her left leg in Newcastle's final-round win over the West Tigers at Leichhardt Oval on Thursday night but is expected to be good to go on Sunday (2.05pm).
"The crowd definitely came into play that game," Southwell said.
MORE IN SPORT:
AAP reports: Most coaches involved in the NRLW believe the competition is not ready for an expansion to 12 teams, a poll has revealed.
The NRL is considering options for the women's game, asking non-participating clubs to indicate their preferred entry date into the NRLW.
After increasing from six teams to 10 this season, initial planning had centred around two further teams joining in 2024.
But the suggestion has largely been rejected by players, who have concerns over squad depth and the number of blowout scores late in this season once injuries took hold.
There are also questions over how new clubs would be able to build a competitive roster, with almost 60 per cent of all players already signed to existing teams for next season.
An AAP survey of the 10 NRLW clubs found that seven coaches are against any expansion next season.
An eighth does not have a strong opinion either way, while a ninth coach said the only expansion they could see working was if the Warriors were introduced as an 11th team next year.
Only one of the 10 coaches said there would be enough players to support 12 teams next year.
Several coaches also believed that increasing squad numbers from 24 players should be a higher priority for the NRL.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.