With the Brumbies gunning for revenge, Western Force five-eighth Zack Holmes is warning his team to prepare for a brutal physical encounter in Saturday night's Super Rugby clash in Perth.
The Brumbies' hopes of securing a top-two berth last year were crushed in the final round when they suffered a shock 21-15 loss to the lowly Force in Perth.
That result meant the Brumbies had to fly to South Africa for their semi-final, with the heavy travel load leaving them tired and weary by the time they took on the Chiefs in the decider in Hamilton.
The Brumbies lost that match 27-22, and their bid to go one step further this season got off to a shaky start when they lost to the Reds 27-17 last week.
Holmes, who spent two seasons with the Brumbies before moving to Perth during the summer, said last year's loss to the Force would still rankle his former side.
"The boys were pretty hurt at losing to the Force," he said.
"They had high expectations of being in the top two. Losing to the Force meant they didn't finish in the top two, so they're going to come back looking for revenge."
The Force have plenty to work on themselves after leaking six tries in their 43-21 defeat to the NSW Waratahs last week.
Saturday's match will pit Brumbies flanker David Pocock up against the Force for the first time since he left the Perth-based franchise at the end of 2012.
Holmes said the breakdown would play a key role in deciding the outcome of the match.
"The Brumbies will be disappointed with the result they got last week, so I'm expecting them to come out firing," he said.
"I think they're going to come out and try to dominate us physically.
"It will be a battle of the breakdown. Poey's (Pocock) back. He looked good last week, so it will be tough there.
"But we'll back ourselves to compete with them in there."
Marquee Force signing Wilhelm Steenkamp has been relegated to the pine to make way for fit-again Wallaby Hugh McMeniman, who made a successful return from injury off the bench last week.
Force coach Michael Foley named an unchanged backline, with the other change in the forward pack seeing flanker Chris Alcock replace Angus Cottrell.
Luke Morahan, Patrick Dellit, Junior Rasolea, Kyle Godwin, Nick Cummins, Zack Holmes, Alby Mathewson, Ben McCalman, Matt Hodgson (capt), Chris Alcock, Hugh McMeniman, Sam Wykes, Kieran Longbottom, Nathan Charles, Tetera Faulkner. Res: Heath Tessmann, Pek Cowan, Ollie Hoskins, Wilhelm Steenkamp, Angus Cottrell, Ian Prior, Sias Ebersohn, Jayden Hayward.