It's all about bounceback as topsy-turvy campaign needs to end with consistency
When new Blues captain Jerome Kaino looks into the tea-leaves or flips through the Tarot cards, he will not expect any signs that his side will be beaten tomorrow.
The Blues are without some heavy hitters in unfamiliar surroundings in Bloemfontein and have a patchy recent record, but they still have a better pedigree than their hosts, the Cheetahs.
The great unknown for the Blues will be their resolve - how much they want this game with their chances of a role in the Super 14 playoffs left smouldering for another season. They are out of their comfort zone and up on the Highveld.
Meanwhile, the Cheetahs are back at home after a difficult month on the road when they suffered three heavy defeats against the Waratahs, Brumbies and Crusaders before picking up a draw against the struggling Chiefs.
That bonus feeling will have travelled with them back home as they search for some extra optimism in their three final games.
For the Blues, this match is all about the bounceback after they flopped in their first game in the Republic against the Sharks. Their record chart stands at five wins and five defeats in a reflection of this flip-flop side.
Uncertain one week, committed the next - inconsistency has been their companion in this competition.
Three wins to finish the series will bring a better glow to the results chart, but counting on that is like suggesting Sione Lauaki will behave himself.
Changes have been made from last week. A number were forced. Rudi Wulf and Luke McAlister have flown home to attend to fatherhood duties and injury rehab, captain Kevn Mealamu is damaged and there is a loose forward rotation.
If the Blues' results chart continues its up-and-down path, they will chalk up a win, but to accomplish that, they will need their pack to set the tone.
The Cheetahs have some hard workers in their eight. Captain Juan Smith and Hendro Scholtz back up a solid front five which likes to scrum, maul and bend bodies.
They prefer to scatter opponents up front before they contemplate giving much possession to the players with higher numbers on their jerseys. Bloemfontein is macho country where forward power is lauded and backs add the trimmings.
So the Blues pack will have to be in tune. If they are off their game, they will be attacked.
But if the pack holds, expect the attacking clout of men like Alby Mathewson, Rene Ranger and Isaia Toeava to be too damaging for the Cheetahs.
The Blues may still be hypothetical semifinalists so they need to show that sort of application to barge past their recent disappointments. There are All Blacks and Maori squads to be chosen soon and selectors follow form more closely at this stage of the season.
Fullback Brent Ward will return to Auckland for this year's national rugby championship after three years with French club Racing Metro.
The 30-year-old's last game for the province was when Auckland won their 16th national provincial title in 2007.
Ward will return to Auckland at the conclusion of the French Top-14 competition at the end of June.
CHEETAHS V BLUES
Bloemfontein, 1am Sunday 2nd May
Juan Smith (c)
Wian du Preez
Jerome Kaino (c)
Cheetahs: S Badenhorst, C Oosthuizen, W Vermeulen, P van der Walt, T de Bruyn, R Viljoen, R Ebersohn.
Blues: T Mailau/ K Mealamu, C Faumuina, A Boric, P Saili, C Smylie, D Kirkpatrick, A Tuitavake.