Halfback Luke Campbell faces the new experience of travel with the side. He said having the extra week to prepare for the Waratahs and to look at their different players, had been helpful.
"We've been pretty positive over the last few weeks. We knew that we took the Crusaders as close as we did, and likewise with the Chiefs, we were there until the last play of the game, so it was good to put a performance out there against the Highlanders and get the win," he said.
"Even though we didn't win the other ones, still we were positive. We pushed the top teams of the competition right to the edge.
"We know that if we get those little bits right and we win those 50-50s, those games might have gone a different way," he said.
Working with first five-eighths Reuben Love in the inside-back combination had been enjoyable.
"I like Reuben's style of play, he's got a good, calm voice, and then he's got that real fire, real spark when he wants to take the line on. He's got some power and speed. He can break a game open when he backs himself. He's been growing that over the last few weeks.
"Each week he's getting more confident so we're getting a good relationship and we're looking forward to another challenge this week," he said.
Wing Julian Savea said there was some nervousness around getting back into a travelling mode.
"The Aussies have something to prove and we will not be taking anyone lightly. We know that everyone in this competition are going to bring their A game and we're going over there to play our best and we know they'll be at their best," he said.
Coach Jason Holland explained the decision to rest second five-eighths Ngani Laumape was something they had been looking at for some time as they knew they couldn't go through the trans-Tasman competition with the same players in every game.
There would be players who were in and out of the side for the first three or four weeks, he said.
Laumape's absence was not related to the announcement he would be leaving New Zealand for France at the end of the season.
The side had gone through a reset during the finals week and was aware they had to improve their ability in understanding how to win games by doing the right things for longer, he said.
There wouldn't be the gap between the two competitions the teams have played, he said, and he expected some close games would be seen on the opening weekend.
Holland said with halfback TJ Perenara due to return to New Zealand he would be keen to get back with the Hurricanes, but at the moment he was not part of this season's squad and the only likely way he would be involved was if there were injuries towards the end of the campaign.