Hawke's Bay Magpies loose forward Marino Mikaele-Tu'u knows you can throw away all form and recent history heading into a Ranfurly Shield challenge.
His side are heading down to Dunedin to play Otago for the Log o' Wood on Sunday afternoon in the final game of Week Four of the Mitre 10 Cup.
And Mikaele-Tu'u said by far the biggest factor in who emerges victorious will be mindset.
"The team that wants it most will eventually lift that trophy at the end of the game."
Having played in one previous Shield challenge against Waikato back in 2018, the 23-year-old also knows to expect a hugely physical encounter in which everyone needs to be on their game.
It will be a strange sort of homecoming for Mikaele-Tu'u, who wrapped up his third season of Super Rugby for the Highlanders earlier this year.
He said that gives him the advantage of knowing how to play under the roof of Forsyth Barr Stadium, which is a bit different to playing anywhere else.
Mikaele-Tu'u certainly made the most of that knowledge during a breakthrough Super Rugby Aotearoa season in which he led all players in offloads, while also rating in the top 10 for carries, clean breaks and metres gained.
He played a lot of his rugby for the Highlanders in the wider channels of the field by design of the team's game-plan, with the coaches looking to set him up against smaller opponents.
Mikaele-Tu'u said the Magpies game plan isn't the same, but those game "pictures" where he can express himself out wide still arise at times.
"I feel as the games go along, and I get a feel of how we're getting along it'll come," he said.
The Hastings Rugby & Sports Club man said the Mitre 10 Cup season is going well so far though.
"I always enjoy my footy coming back home and playing with a few of the old boys."
His aforementioned standout Super Rugby season put Mikaele-Tu'u in the conversation for higher honours, and some have tipped the loose forward to be in line for a callup should the All Blacks add players to their Rugby Championship squad.
He said there were always whispers like that floating around and he tries not to focus on all the chatter.
"If it happens it happens, but right now I'm just focused on Hawke's Bay and putting in a good performance."
The Magpies will certainly need one from their rising star if they are to take the Ranfurly Shield off Otago on Sunday.
Kickoff in Dunedin is at 4.35pm.