The chance to be the flag bearers of a new era in Australia rugby is fuelling the ACT Brumbies as they prepare for what Scott Sio calls a major test of their character.
The Brumbies are waiting for a chance to put a forgettable last start loss behind them in the Super Rugby AU decider at Canberra Stadium on September 19.
Meeting them on that night will be the winner of this week's semi-final between the Queensland Reds and the Melbourne Rebels in Brisbane.
They are the only two sides to have beaten the Brumbies in the domestic competition with the Reds' round 10 effort ensuring the hosts enter the grand final on the back of a loss.
Yet there remains an aura of confidence around Brumbies headquarters with Sio adamant the squad is determined to bounce back with a vengeance.
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"It can work both ways, it's up to the character of the squad and how we approach these two weeks," Sio said.
"It's the last two weeks this group this Brumbies group is going to be together. We look forward to treasuring that and making some good memories.
"It's always frustrating [to lose], you always want to win heading into another game. We know we weren't good enough on the night.
"The way errors crept into our game, especially when we were in the attacking zone there, you need to be on there and keep the scoreboard pressure up in this competition.
"Unfortunately we weren't good enough but the character of this squad will show in how we bounce back from this and how we review it honestly this week.
"It's the last game of the year and it's the last time this group is ever going to play together. It's just about putting the right measures in place over these two weeks at training and doing whatever we can to be in the best physical and mental shape to attack the grand final."
Tickets have gone on sale for the final with Brumbies officials waiting to see if they will be granted an exemption for a crowd of up to 6000 people for the first Super Rugby decider played in Canberra since 2004.
Discussions with ACT government officials had been progressing well but club bosses were still waiting on a final verdict on Wednesday evening.
Season ticket holders, of which there are about 5000, will be gifted access to free tickets to the decider as a "thank you" for sticking by the club during a tumultuous campaign marred by the coronavirus pandemic.
Tickets will be released in stages so club officials can scale the attendance back should COVID-19 restrictions tighten. Stage one [1500 tickets] was released on Wednesday morning, with stage two [an extra 1500] and stage three [an extra 3000] being released on Thursday and Friday respectively.
"We're very humbled by the opportunity we've given ourselves to compete in the grand final and be the inaugural winners," Sio said.
"We understand it's a privileged position, and it's one we've worked really hard to put ourselves into. Whoever we face in two weeks' time, we'll be ready to go."
Some say the Reds landed a psychological blow on the Brumbies during their 26-7 triumph last week, but it is a result that has done anything but make the ladder leaders panic.
"We have to treasure the ball close to the line, we knocked it on three times and got held up twice," Sio said. "We've just got to be disciplined. We gave ourselves enough chances to score but we didn't execute. Luckily for us we've got a week to dissect that game and see where we need to improve."