If they're not ready, don't send them.
That was Canberra coach Ricky Stuart's approach for navigating the treacherous Auckland Nines tournament with an injury-free player roster.
Barring any injuries in their trial against Newcastle in Tamworth on Saturday, the Raiders should enter Round 1 of the NRL with all players in their squad fit and firing to go for the first time in a long time.
It's a different story for their opponents, who have lost five-eighth Jarrod Mullen for up to four months with a hamstring injury.
Mullen's absence adds to a list of injuries resulting from the Nines, including a season ending knee injury to North Queensland fullback Lachlan Coote and a 16-week sideline stint for South Sydney five-eighth Luke Keary (shoulder).
While not pointing the finger at any rival clubs, Stuart said his side's injury-free campaign was partly thanks to only sending players who already had a large chunk of pre-season under their belt - even if that meant holding back his star power for the "great concept".
"Which is why I didn't send away (Anthony) Milford and (Josh) Papalii, because they hadn't had the right preparation for it," he said.
"They've only been back training four weeks and I didn't feel as though it was the right time to go away and play Nines.
"It's a different brand of football, there's a lot more work done under fatigue."
Stuart said he was glad the concept was a success, as there was a lot to benefit from if the playing roster was managed appropriately.
"It's a real shame to see the injuries, and it's a pity, but from my club's point of view is that we got a lot out of it," he said.
"We sent a lot of boys away who had never played first grade before, who had never played in front of such big crowds in such a big atmosphere.
"They got a hell of a lot out of it."