When the Melbourne Rebels first faced the Waratahs they were just happy to compete.
Their first encounter was a scoreless thrashing, the start of an inaugural season in which Melbourne earned just three wins.
This time around, the Rebels have already notched three wins from five matches and prop Laurie Weeks says only a win will do.
“I’ve pointed out to a couple of guys we only won three games in our first year
“That’s not saying that’s something to be happy about but we’ll take the positives refocus again this week and go from there.”
"I think back then we would’ve been happy to just be competing.
“I think coming away from this weekend we won’t be happy unless we have a win and it’s as simple as that.”
The Rebels have beaten their northern rivals just once in 10 clashes but it’s the Melbourne side how comes into this match with the superior record.
A win this weekend would open up the Rebels’ buffer over the Waratahs in the Australian conference standings, with points that could be vital for deciding finals spots.
With the Brumbies holding a four-point gap on the Melbourne side, with the Waratahs three points behind, this weekend’s Allianz Stadium match could ultimately determine the Australian conference runner-up.
“It’s huge because we’re looking to try and get to the top two of our conference,” Weeks said.
“I guess it’s a real measure ourselves of where we stand in the Australian conference and against the Waratahs."
Weeks said the Australian derbies always had an extra spice to them.
“They’re my favourite ones,” he said.
“You’re playing against mates and they’re always the tougher ones they’re all close and they’re all very hard fought.”
Weeks said the Rebels still had some confidence, despite a big loss to the Highlanders at home last weekend.
“Things like our attack didn’t go to plan but our scrum, defence was really good,” he said.
“Their tries came off a few freakish little things so we’ll take that into the Waratahs game.
“The confidence is still here in the team taking that into the next game is crucial.”