The chance to edge further ahead on the Australian ladder and be a step closer to grand-final hosting rights will fuel the ACT Brumbies' for a showdown with a Queensland beast on Saturday.
The only two unbeaten teams in the Super Rugby AU competition will go head to head when the Brumbies return to Canberra for the first time in a month to host the Reds.
The shortened season and new format means the top three teams will qualify for the finals, with the first-placed side fast-tracked straight to a grand final at home.
It will provide extra motivation for the Brumbies forwards, who took a positive set-piece step forward last week and are preparing to battle the Taniela "Tongan Thor" Tupou led Reds.
"He's playing some great rugby at the moment and he's been destructive at scrum time. It's going to take all eight of us to nullify that," said Brumbies prop Scott Sio.
"It's not down to individuals, but we do need to win individual battles throughout the game. This is where you test yourself and see where you're at.
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"You want to test yourself against the best and going up against Taniela is as good as it gets, he's a bit of a specimen. Mentally we have to be ready."
The Brumbies are expected to make minimal changes to the team which beat the Western Force last weekend. Nick Frost and Bayley Kuenzle were solid in their starting debuts, but the Reds will present a new challenge and a test for the Brumbies' recent home dominance.
Frost and Kuenzle are among an emerging group of Australian players preparing to make their mark on the professional stage. The former junior Wallabies will square off with the Reds' young brigade, including Harry Wilson, Fraser McReight and Liam Wright.
"It was quick. There are a few things I need to work on, but I was pleased overall," Frost said. "There are a few set-piece things and being a bit more physical - it's an ongoing thing I've been working on for a couple of years. Being a bit taller and a bit of a leaner lock, I've just been working hard to get that physicality."
The Brumbies have won their past eight games against Australian opponents and have lost just one of the past 13 games against any opponent in Canberra.
"You've got to keep finding a way to win," Sio said. "That's the standard we're looking to get to and to give ourselves the best shot at the back end of the year, we have to keep winning."
The Brumbies will wear an indigenous jersey for the first time this week, Sio saying it will add extra motivation for every player. "We've paid homage to indigenous custodians every week [with a warm-up jersey], to have a round to recognise that is really special," Sio said.