ACT Brumbies skipper Allan Alaalatoa says his side can avoid the trap of trying to match the Otago Highlanders' high-octane style as they chase 11 wins in a row at home.
The trans-Tasman battle will be the Brumbies' biggest test of the season so far after banking back to back wins against Australian rivals in the opening rounds.
It's the Brumbies' best start to a season in four years and has put them on the radar as title contenders, but a losing record against the Highlanders has put Alaalatoa's men on notice. The Brumbies haven't beaten the Highlanders since 2015, losing the past four clashes and struggling to contain the Dunedin side's excitement machines.
There has been a changing of the guard at the Highlanders, making the visitors even more unpredictable than in recent years.
"It's about little gains for us, little things to improve on. To get two wins at home to start is huge," Alaalatoa said.
"But the best thing out of those games is we've found a lot of learnings out of those games. We haven't played a perfect game and probably never will.
"It just depends on who reacts better ... you don't want to get ahead of yourself at this time of season. We have to find ways to get better, the boys have been hard on each other and holding each other accountable to find that continual growth."
The Brumbies haven't been beaten in Canberra since round one last year. If they topple the Highlanders, it will be the third time in the club's history they have won 11 in a row at home.
The next target will be a club record of 13, which was set between 1996-98.
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"[The streak] isn't something we speak about, but it's at the back of our minds. We want to put our best foot forward for our fans," Alaalatoa said.
"We know Kiwi teams are the benchmark of Super Rugby, this is a great time to test ourselves out and it's going to be tough."
Melbourne Rebels coach Dave Wessels accused the Brumbies of deliberately slowing down play last week to suit their plans. The Brumbies rejected Wessels' claims, pointing to the fact they scored four tries in less than 30 minutes.
They have scored 10 tries in two games so far, more than any other team in the competition, but Alaalatoa said this week was about stopping the Highlanders' onslaught.
"We know the Highlanders like to play fast footy and it's unexpected, you don't know what they're going to turn up with," Alaalatoa said.
"We have to understand how we want to play and the results that come off the back of that. We understand their threats as well and why they're so good.
"Defensively we have to be connected and react well. Then apply our strengths and plans."
SUPER RUGBY ROUND THREE
Saturday: ACT Brumbies v Otago Highlanders at Canberra Stadium, 7.15pm
Saturday: ACT Brumbies v Rugby WA at Canberra Stadium, 4.30pm