Canterbury's mind games will only be with themselves when they take on North Harbour tomorrow at AMI Stadium in their third ITM Cup match in eight days.
Skipper George Whitelock, who will be playing his 50th match for Canterbury, is confident they can build on Wednesday's stylish but bruising 33-11 win over Auckland with victory over the guys from the other side of the Waitemata.
"Tiredness is only mental and it's the biggest thing we talked about today,'' he said yesterday. "Getting the mind right.''
The battering some players took meant naming the team was deferred until today, but All Black Wyatt Crockett will be back for a one-match guest-star role during the Rugby Championship week off.
The win over their old rivals made up for the stumbling start against Tasman, and Whitelock, who has skippered Canterbury to their last three NPC titles, said it was a step in the right direction but far from perfect.
"We want to continue to grow our set piece which is a continuous work-on, and the same with defence,'' he said.
Harbour lost their first match to Waikato, but were a side that could never be taken lightly, he said.
"We've got to be on our game and nail the areas we want to.''
The team had been disappointed with the Tasman result and wanted to get it right against Auckland, he said.
They made a huge step forward in defence and physicality and it set the tone of the match, he said.
"Auckland had a big strong pack and we knew we really had to take it to them. It was a matter of wearing them down, and we got the rewards in the last 20 minutes.''
With the demanding match schedule this week, Canterbury had a classroom-based review and no physical training yesterday, and were to do just a light walk-through today.
Canterbury Rugby Union officials are pleased with the crowd of 8300 for Wednesday's match - the first NPC game at the new stadium - helped by a fine night where the dry ball helped Canterbury's willingness to move it about.
"It was a solid start to our ITM Cup at home, and a Wednesday night was an interesting night to get our home campaign off,'' said CEO Hamish Riach.