"These are the last 10 minutes of the grand final."
With that simple declaration from ACT Brumbies coach Dan McKellar, the intensity went up a notch.
Whack. Hooker Connal McInerney levelled his opposite man Folau Fainga'a in a collision you could almost feel from the sideline.
Boom. Bayley Kuenzle's booming right boot sent a ball downfield into the waiting arms of Mack Hansen, who within seconds was greeted by a wall of unforgiving defenders.
Forwards raced to every breakdown, backs stepped their way through would-be tacklers and support runners called for every ball like their life depended on it.
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McKellar paced across the field at the back of the group, barking instructions on which play would come next on a warm spring day in the capital.
Soon the whistle blew and the players retreated to a table lined with cups of water, their chests rising and falling frantically as they tried to recapture their breath.
The voices of captain Allan Alaalatoa, scrumhalf Nic White and flanker Tom Cusack stand out above the rest, rapt with the response to McKellar's declaration.
And then they went again, straight into more contact work. Ask any one of them how they handled the session and it felt as though this was pre-season 3.0.
But this isn't the searing summer heat before a ball has been kicked, nor a bizarre winter period on the rebound from a coronavirus shutdown. This is the final week before the Super Rugby AU grand final, and it is the kind of session that suggests to McKellar his group will be ready.
That is just the way the Brumbies scripted it before they take a weekend off to watch the Queensland Reds and Melbourne Rebels do battle in a semi-final on Saturday night.
"It has been a bit of a slower build because the guys were pretty sore, it was a physical week against the Reds," McInerney said.
"They actually changed the week around, instead of having Monday as a rugby session, we just focused on recovery and review. Tuesday was a little bit harder, a bit of running, and Wednesday was big.
"It was similar to a pre-season feel. Friday [was] a step up again leading into recovery on the weekend. Next week will just be fine-tuning.
"The preparation is a bit of a funny one, we're just focusing on us this week because the Reds and Rebels have completely different game plans.
"Next week, once we know who we're playing, we'll focus on the game more. Being at home helps, it'll be a chilled week."
Indeed Monday looms as a lighter session before the Brumbies ramp up preparations for the club's first home grand final at Canberra Stadium in 16 years.
Now they will sit back and wait to see who they will meet in front of 6000 fans on their home turf after crowd restrictions were eased on the road to the decider.
Most, if not all, will be tuning in to see the Reds and Rebels go toe to toe in Brisbane. But beyond those 80 minutes of football, rugby will be anything but the Brumbies squad's focus.
Fullback Tom Banks says the challenge now is to get away from football, just enough to make sure they don't go to bed thinking about rolling mauls or the sight of Taniela Tupou in full flight.
"It was a pretty big session. It was good knowing we could rip in and have a weekend off," Banks said.
"We'll just get away from footy, we've had a really good week but we'll try to take the time now to just get away from the game so we can come in on Monday raring to go.
"I wouldn't say it's so much switching off [this weekend], it's just not playing your game too early. In a lot of finals and grand finals, you can sometimes play your game too early.
"We're just trying to focus during the week this week and get some time away. When we come in on Monday, we'll know who we are playing and go from there."