The Blues have improved this season. They've been more cohesive and can make the Super Rugby playoffs if they nail three victories and get a leg-up with other results.
A slip-up tonight against the Chiefs at Eden Park and it's all over -- another season when the reviews will start as the Blues head offshore for final assignments in Samoa and Tokyo. Hang on a tick, are we getting a bit ahead of ourselves here, a little too downbeat about their chances?
They've got nine All Blacks in their starting XV, five in the pack including the entire front-row and Sonny Bill Williams among an exciting backline.
By any measure that's a strong collection of talent and on their home track with the weather expected to behave, there's a lot to like about the Blues.
Trouble is there's more to fancy about the Chiefs.
Both sides were beaten last round, the Blues by the Stormers in Cape Town and the Chiefs in their "home" match against the Crusaders in Suva.
Getting back to Hamilton would have taken most of the day from the time the Chiefs started packing up until they took their bags back through the front door but it was not as arduous as the long-haul return journey the Blues had to make from South Africa after pitching up in the Republic a week before.
There will be a fatigue factor for the Blues and coach Tana Umaga may have to go to his bench earlier than normal to sustain his side's energy in their final derby game this season.
The Blues have not won any of those inter-franchise duels, losing home and away to the Highlanders, to the Hurricanes, Crusaders and the Chiefs in their initial stoush in Hamilton. That was the second game of the year when the Blues started without SBW, George Moala, Patrick Tuipulotu, James Parsons, Charlie Faumuina, Ofa Tu'ungafasi. And Steven Luatua was sent off.
The Blues have not beaten any Kiwi sides since that 41-25 loss but have shown a more consistent purpose although they have not matched it down the stretch and lost six times while the Chiefs have only lost to the Crusaders in the conference clashes.
The Chiefs have midas men Brodie Retallick, Sam Cane, Damian McKenzie and Aaron Cruden to dominate or unlock games while those gifts are more of a slow-burn for the Blues.
At Eden Park tonight, the Chiefs start with 11 All Blacks including the crucial 8/9/10 axis where Liam Messam, Tawera Kerr-Barlow and Aaron Cruden will boss the plays while the Blues have Augustine Pulu as their sole test rep in those roles alongside Akira Ioane (No8) and Piers Francis (No10).
How Francis is playing after being dazed last week is a curious case in these times of concussive caution but the medicos have given him the all-clear for his farewell Eden Park appearance before heading away to join the England squad.
Chiefs coach Dave Rennie has gathered extensive experience in his six seasons with the Chiefs and is gunning for a third Super Rugby crown in his final campaign before he and a number of players head away to overseas deals.
Umaga is collecting a wide range of coaching experience including some contact with the Chiefs and was appointed Blues coach last year when the side won eight matches, drew one and lost six including a 29-23 loss to the Chiefs.