With the pressure of having set the pace throughout the Investec Super Rugby season, and knowing they had fallen at playoffs positions in the past, the Crusaders wanted to ensure they won critical moments in the games ahead.
Having endured a midweek storm that forced them indoors for pre-game training, the Hurricanes are looking to create their own storm on the field against the Crusaders in Wellington on Saturday evening.
It's been a tough year for the Sunwolves, and they have just returned from a bruising experience in South Africa, but Blues coach Tana Umaga is still expecting some fire when the two sides meet on Saturday in Tokyo.
Through the vagaries of the Investec Super Rugby draw the Saturday evening game between the Chiefs and Brumbies in Hamilton may be a warm-up to the same two sides meeting in Canberra in a quarter final next week.
While the hosts and schedules of the quarterfinals have all been locked in, which teams will be facing the Conference Leaders is still to be determined, giving all teams something to play for this weekend.
Playing the Friday night game against the Reds in Dunedin would leave the Highlanders waiting until Sunday morning to learn if they will meet the Crusaders or Lions in next weekend's Investec Super Rugby quarterfinals.