Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic's recent history has them well primed for the crunch meeting with Northern Mystics in Monday's all-or-nothing ANZ Championship netball preliminary final in Auckland.
Riding high after securing a dramatic one-goal win over Adelaide Thunderbirds in their last outing, the stakes couldn't be higher as the Magic prepare for a showdown against their wounded neighbours which will take the winner to the grand final a week later against Melbourne Vixens.
On the back of 10 straight wins, Magic have fashioned a game for all seasons in recent weeks which should stand them in good stead. The have managed to secure wins in all variety of manner, their most recent not achieved until the final three minutes, highlighting their ability to both absorb and challenge.
Magic coach Noeline Taurua expects nothing less than another desperate showdown against Mystics, who lost their chance to advance straight to the grand final when subdued 56-50 by the Vixens.
"They'll throw anything and everything at us," she said.
"There will probably be a lot of change-ups from them which has been one of their strengths this season, having the ability to rotate their bench which changes the chemistry out on court.
"There's no room for error now, it's just you either win or you don't. Whether it's desperation, the will or whatever it's going to come out on court and it will be pretty much the same as what we received in the Thunderbirds match."
Magic were under the pump for long periods against Thunderbirds, copping the most sustained pressure they have faced all season and with no sign of a breakthrough as the clock ticked down. But perseverance in their key target areas of structure, belief and patience with the ball, discipline and to keep attacking eventually paid off.
"Apart from that second quarter, where we got wasted, the discipline to come back, keep to structure and bide our time was huge," Taurua said.
"For us, it went down to the last three minutes before an opportunity opened up and we ran with it. Three minutes out of a whole game is not much to have in reserve but that in the end that was the difference. That little window of opportunity helped turn the pressure back on Thunderbirds.
"In the bigger picture all these games have been beneficial to us because it's helped us handle different situations that are thrown out. But it's also us being in the right mindset that it's not going to come easily and that you've got to make it happen. The players have learnt that and it's quite powerful."
There will be minor tinkering from Magic as they go back to playing the New Zealand style but strategically they will mainly stick with what has served them well in recent weeks.
"We got a lot out of our last game which opened up a number of things we need to work on, which is great from my end as it means we're not taking anything for granted," Taurua said.
"We still know that we've got to be able to put it out on court and make it happen and we want to follow our philosophy of being better than the previous week."