The Hurricanes are gearing up for a "massive" clash with the Brumbies in Canberra this weekend, one they believe could prove decisive in their pursuit of a Super Rugby title.
The Wellington side are in second place in Super Rugby Trans-Tasman, equal on points with the Blues but with an inferior points differential, while the Crusaders are hot on their tails, just one point behind.
A trip to Canberra awaits, where the Hurricanes have historically struggled. The Brumbies have won two of the last three meetings in Canberra, the Hurricanes only victory coming in the quarter-final of the 2017 season.
Loose forward Gareth Evans said a victory this weekend would be "massive" for his side.
"We haven’t had much success in Canberra against the Brumbies in the past so if we want to have a foot in the door of trying to make the final of this competition we’ve got to take it," Evans said.
Given four New Zealand teams remain unbeaten in the competition, bonus points are likely to prove critical when it comes to deciding the two sides to make the final.
However, Evans said the Hurricanes were not getting carried away with worrying about bonus points, as victory was their main priority.
"Any loss doesn't help your chances of making the final so I think for us we have to win each week and bonus points come second."
While the Western Force failed to score a try against the Hurricanes over the weekend, defensive coach Cory Jane said there was still plenty of improvement needed if the team was going to go on and win the competition.
"There's still a lot of areas to get better," Jane said.
"To stop a team from scoring is good, but there's still lots to improve on."