Blues' lock Ali Williams believes his side will be no easy-beat when it takes on the Highlanders at Carisbrook on Friday.
Ali Williams was a sturdy contributor last week in the Blues' loss to the Hurricanes in the opening round of the Rebel Sport Super 14.
However, the towering giant admits personal satisfaction always takes a back seat to how well the team is going.
"It's always good to get out there after a good summer and have a run around," he said.
"I mean obviously there are a few things I would like to improve but I think I started all right and did my job fairly well.
"To be honest it doesn't really count for much if the team is not winning."
Williams believes a lack of focus and the Hurricanes' ability to adapt to the unseasonal wet conditions quicker cost the home side in its surprising first round loss.
"It was probably lack of concentration by us and maybe they adapted to the weather conditions a lot better than us," he said.
"I think in patches we worked quite well and I think in other patches we lacked a bit."
The All Black star is expecting a tough encounter when his side locks horns against the home side on Friday night.
"They'll [Highlanders] bring something similar to what they did the whole old Super 12 campaign. They are a big forward pack and they like to drive the ball," said Williams.
"It's a pretty simple game plan, it's all about us getting right mentally and physically and we will get into it on the night."
Williams said the emerging supply of locking talent in New Zealand is good for the nation's rugby future.
He admits it drives him to perform at the top of his game every time he takes the field.
"It definitely means you have to be on your top form week-in week-out. Obviously we do have a lot of locks in New Zealand which is great for New Zealand rugby," he said.
"Obviously it pushes me to perform at my best. I just enjoy the fact that we have an abundance here and that we can learn off each other."
The Blues veteran is also not short on praise for his side's newcomer and locking partner Greg Rawlinson.
Williams says it is great to work alongside someone with Rawlinson's talent.
"I think lock is one of those things that looks like an individual's position but it's one that really relies on a lot of people and having a partner with Greg's capabilities is huge," he said.
"There's an unwritten law that if one does well it's due to the other one's success as well."