A decade playing Super Rugby and only once has Christian Lealiifano tasted victory over the Crusaders.
But so distant is the memory, the Brumbies co-captain can hardly remember it.
“I thought I’d never beaten them,” he said with a smile on Tuesday.
It was back in 2009 at GIO Stadium, and Lealiifano scored a try in the 18-16 win.
But they’ve run dry in their five matches since, losing all but one by 13 points or more.
“Every game we’ve played them we’ve either been absolutely pumped or it’s been really close,” he said.
“One win out of a 10-year career is pretty poor and I’m looking to turn that around.”
The Brumbies host the Kiwi side in a rare afternoon match on Sunday and are buzzing with confidence following their hard-fought win over rivals the NSW Waratahs.
But they face an outfit that has won six in a row.
Only twice in 11 games this season have Australian sides beaten a New Zealand rival; one of them being the Brumbies’ season-opening flogging of the Hurricanes.
“Those are the tests you want,” Lealiifano said.
“You don’t want the easy games and there never are easy games against the Kiwis.
“We’re trying to really get our game going and build some momentum into the season. We’ve got a little bit coming off a win on the weekend.”
Lealiifano said the Crusaders – even without Richie McCaw and Dan Carter – were just as devastating and expansive as the Chiefs, who thrashed the Brumbies 48-23 in their last home game on April 2.
He believes the disappointment of that match, however, holds them in good stead against the most successful franchise in Super Rugby history.
As do the drought-breaking victories the Brumbies have scored against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein, the Tahs at Allianz Stadium and `Canes in round one, according to fullback Aidan Toua.
“We’ve broken a few hoodoos throughout the year and (we hope to do again) this weekend,” he said.
“We’re 1-1 with New Zealand teams and we’ll go in with the same confidence that we had going into the Hurricanes game and especially off a win last weekend.”