Premierships aren't won in February, but next Saturday's NSW and Queensland blockbuster shapes as an early opportunity to set the agenda in the Australian Conference.
Waratahs coach Michael Cheika believes Queensland are back to the unpredictable style of play that won them the 2011 Super Rugby title as he foreshadowed an attacking shoot-out in next week's derby at ANZ Stadium.
NSW and Queensland both opened their accounts with encouraging round-one wins over Australian opposition and have the attacking potency to challenge at the business end of the season, but the first acid test will come next week.
Israel Folau put on an exhibition in NSW's resounding 43-21 bonus-point win over the Western Force on Sunday, and the likes of Will Genia, Quade Cooper and Lachie Turner were just as impressive in Queensland's 27-17 win over the Brumbies in Canberra.
However, neither team can get too carried away.
The Force aren't expected to figure in this year's Australian Conference equation and last year's grand finalists the Brumbies appeared underdone.
Cheika and Reds counterpart Richard Graham have both promised attack-minded game plans this season and NSW are claiming underdog status until they prove themselves against one of the competition giants.
"They've got a totally different game and they're going to go back to their very unpredictable formula where they try something new every week and come at you," said Cheika.
"We're going to have to be much tighter in our defence for sure.
"You saw the Brumbies tried to slow them down at the ruck and it was not successful.
"We're going to have to be very, very good with our tackling. They're a smart footy team, very well coached so it's going to be a very good battle."
Cheika is comfortable with the fact his team are going to make plenty of errors this season in the pursuit of tries.
However, the one thing he is demanding is that his side consistently stick to their mantra of attack, attack, attack.
Against the Force, Cheika was disappointed with a blind flick pass from Peter Betham that was intercepted by Nick Cummins and brought the visitors back into the contest.
But he doesn't want the mindset to change, only the execution to improve.
"We've got to remain consistent in our attitude and build our quality every week," he said.
"The quality wasn't there consistently enough today to beat Queensland."
Folau has spent the majority of his football career, albeit when he was in rugby league, wearing a Queensland jersey, but on Saturday he'll be looking to decimate the Reds like he did the Force on Sunday.
Opposing fullback Turner will also have a point to prove against his former state - after starring against the Brumbies with a try.
However, coach Graham said the Reds would continue to rely on the character they build in defence rather than focus on what they can do with the ball in hand.
The Reds have only lost once in three encounters at ANZ.
"There's a group of attacking players within the team that can do some special things," he said.
"But it's about the collective effort, and everyone who was involved defensively, they were outstanding.
"It says a lot about their character. Character is a foundation from which you can build things.
"And you see the rewards (against the Brumbies)."