There will be more than just competition points on the line when Super Rugby high-flyers the Hurricanes tackle the Chiefs in New Plymouth on Saturday night.
It is the first time the sides have met in Taranaki since the province turned its back on the Canes and jumped ship to join the Chiefs franchise.
All eyes will now be on the stands and terraces at Yarrow Stadium to see which side, if any, has won over the majority of supporters.
And if the sale of replica playing strip is anything to go by, Taranaki rugby fans are a fickle bunch who are perhaps more interested in following a winning team than any concept of loyalty.
Stirling Sports is the Chiefs' official merchandiser, but New Plymouth store manager Sami Glynn said she had sold out of Hurricanes shirts after putting in an extra order to meet demand.
"To be honest, Hurricanes are still the number one priority at the moment; yeah - everyone still wants the yellow jersey."
But Glynn said it was not always that way.
"This year's the first year everyone wants a Hurricanes jersey - normally it's been Chiefs up until now, but they're at the top of the table this year, so everyone wants Hurricanes," she said.
The manager of the Canterbury shop across the road, Matt Clarke, said it was simple - New Zealanders love backing winners.
"When we first joined the Chiefs, the Chiefs dominated. They had a new jersey with quite a cool design. This year with the Hurricanes on a roll, it's tightened up, it would be a good 50-50.
"Kiwis are funny, when the team's winning people jump on board. Last year we could hardly sell a Hurricanes jersey. It was all Chiefs, and this year they're pretty even."
In downtown New Plymouth there are good sprinkling of Chiefs fans who recognise the franchise has brought quality games to Yarrow Stadium.
But the Hurricanes had a clear edge amongst fans Radio New Zealand spoke to.
Chiefs coach Dave Rennie was realistic and reckoned after almost 20-odd years supporting the Hurricanes, some fans were not about to change allegiances.
But it still irked Rennie that some in the Canes management were claiming the game as a home fixture.
"It's a little bit ironic - the only way the Hurricanes were going to play here was if we brought them here. I guess historically they've played the minnows (here)."
"They took two games here in seven years, and we've played four in two years."
Rennie said the rivalry should make for a cracking atmosphere in the stadium.
"The Hurricanes have been in great form and the fact you'll have a split crowd where some are supporting us and some are supporting the Hurricanes I think it makes it an incredibly special day for rugby in Taranaki."
At a training run at Francis Douglas Memorial College - Hurricanes captain Conrad Smith's old high school - there was no mistaking the allegiance as students cheered on their idols.
Smith said he was not surprised the Hurricanes still had a lot of fans in Taranaki.
"You've got to understand, we were here a long time and the people of the 'Naki have always considered themselves a loyal bunch, so it will take a while before they give up that allegiance.
"For myself, the thought of joining the Waikato... they've always been rivals, dating back to NPC days."
The connection with the Waikato also touched a raw nerve with Taranaki rugby fans - even those happy to support the Chiefs.
Some thought those Waikato cowbells should be confiscated at the turnoff to State Highway 3 - they get under the skin of the average amber and black fan.
Robert Montgomery now supports the Chiefs, but not the cowbells.
"I don't like the cowbells, I must admit, that is no good. I agree."
His view was mirrored by Stephen Bishop who felt Taranaki rugby fans had it good otherwise, because they could follow either team or both.
"Yeah, no. Get rid of those (cowbells) - we don't need them. Not in the Naki, anyhow."
Even Chiefs coach Rennie was distancing himself from the bells.
"I'm lucky, I'm behind a glass window so I don't have to put up with them but they're certainly not a part of the Chiefs obviously - we've got a completely different brand altogether."
Regardless of who you support, with more than 10,000 tickets sold already, Taranaki sports fans are in for a huge night of rugby.