Brumbies prop Tom Ross couldn't hide his excitement as they prepare for 'Tah Week.'
The Brumbies are looking to continue their unbeaten start against the Waratahs at GIO Stadium on Saturday, well aware they've been below their best.
However, facing off against the 'old rivals' Waratahs brings a natural boost for players in the nation's capital, particularly Ross, who made his debut against the NSW side three years ago.
"That week was particularly special," Ross reflected to media. "But every ‘Tah week has been special for me.
"Growing up and coming out to GIO Stadium as a youngster, we've always wanted to beat the Waratahs and beat them well.
"That's always been the goal from the get go. 'Tah week - we bloody love it.
“They’ve got a stronger squad this year and a new coach, they’ll be looking to prove a point this weekend. We’ve got to bring our A-game this week, we’ve reviewed our past two rounds and agreed (whilst) they were wins, we need to take it to another level if we want to take the old rivals.”
The Waratahs approach one of their biggest weeks of the Super Rugby Pacific season reeling from a disappointing loss, knowing they had plenty of opportunities to pinch what would have been a huge win to start the season with two victories.
Centre Lalakai Foketi pointed to the fact his side had taken the ball inside the Reds' 22 on 13 different occasions, but had scored just twice.
"That's a crazy stat for us to look at and think if we're entering their 22 that many times…we gotta work something out there," he said.
"We left a couple of opportunities out there we could have turned into points and potentially come away with the win.
"It's one that got away last Friday night, we're disappointed, we want to win."
But with their key rival Brumbies on the menu on Saturday night, Foketi understood the importance of kicking on immediately and getting the season back on track.
"There's just something in this game, there's a few boys down there everyone knows … we're not taking them lightly, we know they're a good side," he said.
LAUNCH: Super W Season Launch
CO-CAPTAINS: Hayes, Caslick to lead Sevens
RE-SIGN: Rodda chooses jersey over money
Fellow Waratah Jed Holloway agreed, although he felt the rivalry meant slightly more to those from the nation's capital.
“It’s always been a big week building up traditionally (to the Brumbies games), it’s always a huge one,” he added.
“I think they feel it a lot more than us. For us, it’s about building from last week’s performance and the performances we’ve had the last few games without being too amped up.
“They and the Reds are the benchmark of the Super Rugby Pacific in Australia. It’s about us focusing on ourselves and trying to put the best performance out there in the weekend.”