Rory Scott is still trying to wrap his head around the thought of his first Super Rugby AU finals campaign.
The ACT Brumbies rookie grew up dreaming of these moments, like pulling on the jersey in a do-or-die showdown at Canberra Stadium.
But the emerging flanker says he is keeping his feet on the ground leading into a qualifying final on home soil on May 1 - the competition landscape means everyone has to.
Because the Super Rugby Trans-Tasman tournament is tacked onto the end of the domestic competition, giving players little time to celebrate or commiserate.
"It's pretty special [to be playing in the finals] but at the same time, it's kind of weird how the competition works this year," Scott said.
"We have the grand final but then we go and start a new season almost straight away. It's a little bit of a weird thing to get your head around."
The Brumbies have a bye in round 10, giving players and staff a chance to visit regional clubs to help run training sessions at both junior and senior levels.
The club will work with the Yass Rams, Cooma Red Devils, Trinity Catholic College, Goulburn, Crookwell Pups, Braidwood Redbacks, Broulee Dolphins and Batemans Bay Boars on Tuesday night as the Brumbies return to the bush.
All the while the Western Force and the Melbourne Rebels are fighting for the right to face the Brumbies in the qualifying final, with the winner advancing to the decider in Queensland a week later.
The Brumbies are set to welcome No. 8 Pete Samu and inside centre Irae Simone back into the frame for the finals after they were given a chance to rest minor injuries over the weekend.
"It's a big boost obviously. They're some of our best players and they've earned that through multiple seasons of playing good footy," Scott said.
"It will be good to have some of those players back. Me and Pistol play similar roles so he helps me out a bit, and also [Tom] Cusack, being a Marist boy, really looks after me at times as well.
"Obviously it's a step up from club rugby in Canberra but at the end of the day it's footy, and luckily I've played quite a few games of footy already in my time so it's not like I'm trying to do a new sport or anything. I have a general idea of what I'm doing."
Scott earned his first start in Brumbies colours against the Rebels in Melbourne last Sunday and the move paid off with the Marist College product scoring his first Super Rugby try.
Brumbies coach Dan McKellar hopes it can be the spark to ignite Scott's promising career.
"It's a good sign for any boy or man in Canberra that's at Marist or any of our rugby nurseries, that they can kick on and play for the Brumbies if they want to work hard," McKellar said.
"He has certainly done that, he has got a big future ahead of him."
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