Qualifying for their first Super Rugby final in almost two decades is one major hurdle cleared for the Blues. Winning the inaugural transtasman title will require the greatest leap of all from this team.
All finals are different. One-off occasions bring pressure moments, expectation and unpredictability regular season matches can't match.
When you represent a team that hasn't claimed a title in 18 years, that burden of pressure is amplified tenfold.
With sponsors attending trainings and 22,000 tickets sold for Saturday night's final against the Highlanders at Eden Park, there's a different feel to this week for the Blues.
Minimising those distractions and not getting swept up in the possibilities is just as important as what happens on the field for the Blues.
Under Leon MacDonald over the past three years the Blues have attempted to breakdown inherent perceptions of a team that consistently fails to achieve.
The only way to truly shatter that glass ceiling, though, is to defeat the Highlanders.
"You can tell there's a final," MacDonald acknowledged after naming his team that features one starting change with Akira Ioane replacing the concussed Tom Robinson. "You don't have to try motivate the guys to play well it's more about making sure we stay really clear on what we want to achieve and be accurate.
"There's the external pressures, noise and the prize that changes. We're clear on what's important to get right and a lot of it is around our mindset. We could be distracted on the peripheral stuff but ultimately it's the performance that counts."
MacDonald was reluctant to reminisce about 2003 and the last time the Blues made a Super Rugby final – perhaps because he was on the losing side after starting at fullback for the Crusaders. His experience of a finals week, though, could prove valuable in keeping his men on task.
"That's a long time ago a lot of these guys were barely watching rugby or walking so to them it doesn't mean a hell of a lot. The Blues are very proud of their history but this is a new group and it's an opportunity for this group to put their names in the history book if we get it right.
"It would be fantastic to win but there's a big hurdle in front of us. It's new for us the finals; getting ahead of ourselves and talking about winning it is not helping us. We haven't done that all week, and we won't be starting now.
"There's a lot of guys who have been around this team for a long time and are desperately keen to be part of a successful Blues side. That's been the motivation; being part of the change and it's something that's spurred this team to keep grinding even when things get tough. This game means a lot to this team."
Otere Black handed the Blues a boost by recovering from the significant blow he suffered to his lower leg at training on Tuesday. Alongside dependable second five-eighth TJ Faiane and lock Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, the off-contract Black could be preparing for his final game for the Blues which will add to motivation.
"He took full part in training today without any signs of anything so we're stoked for him."
The news was not so positive for the influential Robinson, however, after failing to recover from his head knock against the Force last week.
"He's set an attitude with the way he hits rucks and gets around the park and he goes for 80 minutes. We'll be asking all our players to play like Tom to get the result. The Highlanders pride themselves on their fitness and work-rate and we've got to be able to match that.
"We'll miss Tom but I know Aki is ready to step into those boots as is the rest of the forward pack."
Ofa Tu'ungafasi won't feature either and he appears in danger of missing the All Blacks three tests in July with MacDonald suggesting he needs minor knee surgery.
"His knee is causing more trouble than what we had hoped and his finger is a bit of a mess as well so he's a bit battered at the moment. He's having a little tidy up to clear his knee up so that's going to keep him on the sidelines for a few more weeks."
With seven All Blacks in their starting side, and one more on the bench, the Blues are heavily favoured to secure the transtasman crown.
Yet reputation counts for little against the Highlanders. The southern slayers would love nothing more than to burst the Blues bubble.
Blues: 15 Zarn Sullivan, 14 Bryce Heem, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 TJ Faiane, 11 Mark Telea, 10 Otere Black, 9 Finlay Christie; 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Dalton Papalii, 6 Akira Ioane, 5 Patrick Tuipulotu (C), 4 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Kurt Eklund, 1. Alex Hodgman.
Reserves: 16 Ray Niuia, 17 Karl Tu'inukuafe, 18 Marcel Renata, 19 Josh Goodhue, 20 Blake Gibson, 21 Jonathan Ruru, 22 Harry Plummer, 23 AJ Lam.
Highlanders: Josh Ioane, Sio Tomkinson, Michael Collins, Scott Gregory, Jona Nareki, Mitch Hunt, Aaron Smith (cc), Kazuki Himeno, Billy Harmon, Hugh Renton, Bryn Evans, Pari Pari Parkinson, Siate Tokolahi, Ash Dixon (cc), Ethan de Groot.
Reserves: Liam Coltman, Ayden Johnstone, Josh Hohneck, Josh Dickson, James Lentjes, Kayne Hammington, Sam Gilbert, Teariki Ben-Nicholas