The ACT Brumbies know they've got a target on their back but they're taking it in their stride.
Dan McKellar strutted through Canberra Airport with a winning smile on Sunday, still riding the high from the Brumbies' 12-point upset win over the Waikato Chiefs.
Prop James Slipper looked ready to burst into a serenade with his acoustic guitar, while debutant Lachlan Lonergan proudly wore his Brumbies cap.
A beaming band of Brumbies touched down in Canberra, announcing their arrival as genuine contenders for the Super Rugby crown.
Gone is the Kiwi hoodoo. Gone is the 13-year drought in Hamilton. But is this breed of Brumbies the real deal?
"Yeah, a little bit," captain Allan Alaalatoa grinned.
"We always know we've got a target on our back, like every other team. For us, it's about taking it game by game and nothing thinking too far ahead.
"When you think too far ahead that's when you start to forget the basic stuff that helps us build along the way.
"For us, it's just about reminding the team to be the best they can for each game individually and the results will come off the back of that."
The Brumbies have gained a comfortable lead on top of the Australian conference, having won three games out of four and suffered a heartbreaking bonus-point loss.
It's a promising start to the campaign given the off-season roster overhaul, with young players stepping into the shoes of last year's departed stars.
Seven Brumbies have made their Super Rugby debut so far this season, including hooker Lonergan, who made a lasting impression in his first stint off the bench on Saturday night.
This week, more than any other week, the depth of our squad got tested. We've almost gone through our whole squad, a lot of the boys are getting opportunities and we're only in the fourth round of the competition.Brumbies skipper Allan Alaalatoa
"Getting a win in Hamilton for your first game would have been unreal, I was proud of the boys to dig deep for him," Alaalatoa said.
"It was awesome to have his family there, too. He came on and had a great 15-minute stint.
"He got a couple of turnovers and some crucial tackles, so he just fitted right in. He's definitely someone we know the Brumbies will have around for a while.
"This week, more than any other week, the depth of our squad got tested.
"We've almost gone through our whole squad, a lot of the boys are getting opportunities and we're only in the fourth round of the competition.
"It keeps a lot of boys on edge and the competition at training is high which is only going to benefit us when we play on the field."
The Brumbies have two weeks to prepare for the Japanese Sunwolves, who they will meet at Hanazono Stadium on Sunday, March 8.
Their round-five bye comes at a crucial time given six players, two coaches and staff have been quarantined due to a mumps outbreak in recent weeks.
The Sunwolves suffered a 64-5 thrashing to the Queensland Reds on Saturday, but Alaalatoa remains wary of their form at home.
The Japanese side beat the Melbourne Rebels by nine points in round one, before losing to Waikato the following week.
Alaalatoa says their recovery and preparation between away matches is crucial before hitting the road, especially for the inexperienced players in the squad.
"Some boys hadn't played outside Australia before in our squad, so that's the greatest learning," Alaalatoa said.
"You're trying to prepare like you do at home when you play away, and that's crucial to how we prepare in Japan.
"The Sunwolves are a different side when they play at home, as we saw in round one against the Rebels.
"We know they're a threat on the paddock. We just have to make sure we get our detail right that week, prepare as best we can, travel well and then see what happens."
Round five: Bye.
Round six: Japanese Sunwolves v ACT Brumbies at Hanazono Stadium, Sunday March 8, 2.15pm.