It could be said that Daniel Braid might have more motivation than most to win this weekend's ITM Cup semi-final.
When the 31-year-old captain leads Auckland on to the field against Wellington on Saturday it will be his 99th cap, with a win all but securing his place on the Auckland centurions list.
"I've had a little word to the boys and will remind them again on Saturday. I'm pretty motivated to win this one," said Braid.
A groin injury in the first round of the ITM Cup almost derailed Braid's chance of reaching the milestone but following a strict rehab programme has kept his hopes alive.
"It was frustrating getting an injury in the first 20 minutes of the first game with the team going so strong but I recovered pretty well. Now I'm back in there and I feel like I'm playing some good rugby," he said.
Braid said there is a definite air of excitement within the squad leading into the semi-final.
"I'm glad it's finals time. I haven't been here for a while with Auckland but it's always a great time of year. There is a lot of adrenalin and the pressure steps up so it is important to go back to what we've done in the season and keep a cool head," said Braid.
Coach Wayne Pivac echoed Braid's comments and said it will be up to him and other senior players to share their experience of play-off rugby with the younger players.
"The guys are pretty excited because everything we have talked about all year has been about getting to this point and now it's a reality," he said.
"We are using the senior players to convey the message because those guys have played in championship winning teams and been in plenty of play-off matches at different levels - in the case of Ali Williams at the top level, so they've talked about what you can expect."
The last time these two teams met it was a high scoring affair, Auckland winning 43-30, and Pivac believes it will be a similar encounter on Saturday.
"I expect it to be a really good match. Going back over the years there have been a lot of high scoring matches between Auckland and Wellington and I don't see this one being too different," said Pivac.