Coming off their loss to the Fijian Drua and having seen an under-strength Chiefs team rout the Force in Perth, the Reds face a tough job to repeat the 25-22 win in Round 12.
Coach Clayton McMillan said he was proud of the effort in Perth. It had been well-documented that competition points didn't mean a lot to them, but he felt it was essential to go into the playoffs with some momentum.
"A lot of these guys played against the Reds when we lost, so it was an opportunity for a lot of those guys to come out and demonstrate that we actually learnt a few things.
"The Force had their moments; we didn't have everything go our way.
"Our defence has been good all year; it has won us games. So, hopefully, it is going to take us deep into the competition. But there's a tipping point. We turned over the ball a few times, we didn't exit [their half] tidily, and so we were forced to make more tackles than we would like.
"While we're happy with our defensive resolve and accuracy, we're a hard nut to crack, but it's not great when your numbers are starting to crank up each week, it will eventually take its toll. I'm happy with the defensive side but it highlights where we need to get better in other areas."
He was sure they would reflect on their game, and their future looked bright with their reported signings. Perth was a good place to live and play, so he thought there would be interest in playing for the side.
Captain Anton Lienert-Brown said they were proud of the strength in their squad, and the expectation was that everyone from one to 36 could put the jersey on and do their job.
"We knew the challenge that was ahead of us, the Force hadn't lost here before and I've never played an easy game at this stadium and in Perth. We prepared really well and it was nice to put a performance out there."
Seeing how the Force played against the Waratahs, especially in the first quarter, inspired their approach to the game, and they succeeded in making their mark to be 19-0 up in the first quarter.
QUARTERFINAL: Chiefs v Queensland Reds, Saturday 10 June, 4.35pm, FMG Stadium Waikato. TICKETS.