Let's put the cliches aside for a minute. You simply can't help but have admiration for what the Crusaders have achieved already this season.
However, there is a real chance this extraordinary road show will come to an end on Saturday. It will be a pity - at least that is how the sentimental fool in me feels.
That aside, let us look at this objectively.
The Stormers will start this delectable showdown as favourites against a team that has given new meaning to the phrase 'road warriors'.
The Crusaders have now pushed over the 100,000km mark of travelling in this extraordinary season - with 11,000 of those air miles clocked up this week in a marathon trip to Cape Town that involved their aircraft having to rise much higher than average altitude that a commercial airliner flies, because of the volcanic ash clouds that still circle the globe. The result was that their trip from Sydney to Johannesburg was extended well beyond the 14-hour flying time and it was past midnight on Monday before they arrived at their Cape Town base.
Despite the extraordinary route they took to get to this stage of the competition, and given this week's additional travel, coach Todd Blackadder said his team was in good shape and up for the challenge.
"Preparations have gone well," Blackadder said, adding: "We've adjusted and we've had a really light week.
"We are feeling mentally strong and physically fresh. We're great and this team is ready to go."
The affable coach was equally forthright when asked about his team's play-off track record in recent years. They have lost in the semifinals three times in the past four years - against the Bulls on South African soil in 2007, 2009 and 2010.
Blackadder felt there is a "massive difference" between the current crop and the team that visited the Republic in recent seasons - particularly last year.
"Last year we limped into SA - we came here late in the campaign, flew back to New Zealand and then had to come back again. We had a lot of injuries and just scraped into the play-offs. This year we are in a totally different space.
"This is our third year [since Blackadder took over as coach from Robbie Deans]," he said, adding: "We've had three years building for this and I just feel the psyche ... we are mentally strong.
"We see an opportunity against a really strong side, but we are really determined to do something that is really hard to achieve."
Blackadder said he expected the games to be a 'throw the kitchen sink' encounter.
And then there is the weather - with a very real chance of rain in Cape Town on Saturday.
Not even that prospect can faze Blackadder.
"What will give us confidence if it is wet is that we've been playing wet-weather rugby for the last month-and-a-half," he said, adding: "We're actually hoping for a bit of dry weather and a bit of sunshine so we can play more of an expansive game.
"If it is wet we'll adjust."
The Stormers, no doubt, would like to write a fairytale of their own.
After losing in the historic Soweto Final to the Bulls, to go with having been losing semifinalists in 2004 and 1999, they are determined to shed the tag of Cape Town's show ponies.
There is no doubt they are a team of immense talent, but even they will argue that they have not yet lived up to the promise they have showed. Reaching the Final and finally winning a Super Rugby title will get that monkey off their backs.
Stormers coach Allister Coetzee is well aware that his team is under pressure to kick on and break their Super Rugby duck.
But first they have to get past the competition's most successful outfit, the seven-time champion Crusaders.
"They have been in semifinals and play-offs often, they have got quality and experience and they have got the leadership," Coetzee said this week.
"They have got a great management team and they have a lot of All Blacks in the side."
However, not only does he have faith in his own team's ability to get the hob done, he knows they have the advantage if having had a bye during last week's play-off qualifying matches - when the Crusaders had to slug it out with the Sharks in Nelson before the long haul to Cape Town.
"The off week has been tremendous for us," Coetzee said, adding: "We took a break from rugby and we are mentally refreshed, while they played last week - so we are really in a good space and I think the players understand that internal motivation will have to come from them.
"They [the Crusaders] have got class all over the field and we know that we have got to come with physical intensity and bring that for 80 minutes. We will be challenged at set phase so we have got to get that right and on the day we need to make better decisions than last time."
We turn to Crusaders assistant coach Daryl Gibson to discuss possible tactics for Saturday.
He felt the Stormers are capable of playing a mixture of games.
"Up till we played them the last time [at Newlands] they played quite a defensive type game," Gibson said, adding: "They played a lot Bulls-like ... kicking for field position and kicking goals.
"Since then they started to play a lot more in their own territory.
"It would be interesting, from our point of view, what sort of tactical game they come up with.
"We know they are going to bring a lot of physicality to the game> They have a big line-out, with [Andries] Bekker and they have some real strike power in their backline."
Players to watch:
For the Stormers: The World Cup-winning midfield combination of Jaque Fourie and Jean de Villiers will have a crucial role in terms of both attack and defence, while the form of wing Bryan Habana is also a constant topic of debate in Cape Town. Young No.8 Nick Koster, standing in for the injured brute Duane Vermeulen will certainly be in the spotlight as well.
For the Crusaders: There are the obvious candidates - Dan Carter and Richie McCaw. However, in Cape Town the Sonny Bill Williams fan club has been out in full force all week, while Kieran Read always has a big influence on the game.
Head to head: You don't have to look any further than midfield showdown between Jaque Fourie and Jean de Villiers (Stormers), up against Robbie Fruean and Sonny Bill Williams (Crusaders) - it is worth the entry fee on its own. But there is so much more in two such classy teams. There is Stormers Springbok Peter Grant against the Crusaders' classy All Black Dan Carter at flyhalf. Then there is the loose forward battle - a real contrast in styles - where the abrasive Stormers captain Schalk Burger will be faced with the guile subtleties of Crusaders skipper Richie McCaw - although there is also the breakdown battle where Francois Louw (Stormers) will face off with McCaw. In the line-outs the rangy Stormers lock Andries Bekker will be up against Sam Whitelock (Crusaders).
2011: Crusaders won 20-14, Cape Town
2010: Stormers won 42-14, Cape Town
2009: Crusaders won 11-7, Christchurch
2008: Crusaders won 22-0, Cape Town
2007: Crusaders won 36-11, Christchurch
2006: Stormers won 28-17, Cape Town
rugby365.com Prediction: It will be the third time that the Stormers play host in a Super Rugby match. While they beat the Waratahs in last year's semifinal, they will have less than fond memories of the 1999 semi - when they lost after a player strike was narrowly averted on the even of the match. It will be the Crusaders’ fourth semifinal in South Africa in the last five seasons, after they lost to the Bulls in Pretoria in 2007 and 2009, and in Soweto last year. These three defeats make up more than half the play-off matches the Cantabrians have lost since the inception of the professional era in 1996. However, the biggest factor that influences this prediction is the massive influence travelling across the Indian Ocean has in these fixtures. We feel it will be close for most of the match, but the Crusaders will run out of gas in the final quarter and the Stormers will sneak a win - by less than 10 points.
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Stormers: 15 Conrad Jantjes, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nick Koster, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Schalk Burger (captain), 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Rynhardt Elstadt, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 Wicus Blaauw
Replacements: 16 Deon Fourie, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Anton van Zyl, 19 Schalk Brits, 20 Louis Schreuder, 21 Juan de Jongh, 22 Johann Sadie.
Crusaders: 15 Tom Marshall, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (captain), 6 George Whitelock, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Luke Romano, 19 Matt Todd, 20 Kahn Fotuali'i, 21 Matt Berquist, 22 Ryan Crotty.
Date: Saturday, July 2
Venue: Newlands, Cape Town
Kick-off: 17.05 (15.05 GMT)
Expected weather: A few showers. More sun than clouds. Cool. High of 14°C and a low of 10°C
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jaco Peyper (South Africa), Stefan Breytenbach (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)
By Jan de Koning
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