Sports Call - After 20 years of perpetual disappointment, it would be easy for Hurricanes fans to fear the worst heading into tomorrow night's Super Rugby final.
Yet it is hard to find a naysayer in sight as an immense optimism fills the capital.
An hour into last year's final against the Highlanders, the ball was shifted wide to Hurricanes wing Julian Savea.
With an ocean of space in front of him and a seven point gap to close, he only had to cross the line, yet the pass was slightly behind him and the ball spilled forward.
The Hurricanes eventually lost 21-14 - an ink blot on the club's best season to date.
Few predicted they would return to the final after losing captain Conrad Smith and Ma'a Nonu to the lure of Europe.
Yet, Iafeta Matalasi, a devoted Hurricanes fan since the club's inception, did not give up hope.
He watched one of the team's final training sessions.
"The boys are hurting from last year but they've got it now - they've sorted it," he said.
"You can hear it in the way they talk to each other - nobody feels separated, they're playing together."
One of the breakout stars of the team's season, Ardie Savea, has supported the Hurricanes since he was a child.
A standout memory is the team losing its first final against the Crusaders in 2006.
"It was played in the fog and I couldn't quite see what was going on on TV," he said.
"To be part of a special event and occasion is unreal... it's a Super Rugby final and I prefer to be playing than watching."
The former All Blacks and Hurricanes hooker Norm Hewitt said he has seen something different about this group of players.
"They're playing for each other and there's an energy there that wasn't there last year," he said.
"There's an enjoyment factor and they go that extra mile for each other."
He can't explain why glory has taken this long to come to the capital yet, like Iafeta Matalasi, he feels this is the year.
"Success brings success - if they keep their feet on the ground and harness that excitement, keep it real, they've had a taste of finals rugby last year, and I'm quietly confident everything will go in their favour then we'll have an outcome that is long overdue for the Hurricanes."
Wellington Stadium is already sold out for tomorrow's final, which starts at about 7.35pm.