Waratahs coach Michael Cheika probably allowed himself a grin as he read comments from Brumbies opposite Jake White that his NSW side were playing with few alterations to campaigns past.
In its own way, it was a vindication for Cheika's changes. It has been a while since any rival coach felt compelled to say NSW were playing conservatively. The Waratahs had taken care of that themselves.
But there are changes this year, and there was a passage of play early in the second half against the Rebels last week that gave a good few clues about what the Waratahs are up to. In the 45th minute, the Waratahs started with a lineout in their half and would have finished with a try 11 phases later had Michael Hooper's final pass not been batted down by a scrambling Kurtley Beale. And the best thing about it was that it had players running straight.
In that one sequence, two of the key carries were big men hitting areas not too far from the ruck at pace - first Israel Folau, coming off his wing, and then Tatafu Polota-Nau, coming onto a nice switch play by Bernard Foley to power between Hugh Pyle and Cadeyrn Neville.
There was a bit of width, too, with Adam Ashley-Cooper being used to get over the advantage line and stretch the defence, but one of the things the Waratahs seem to be keen on this year is asking questions in those inside channels. It's nice to watch, especially if Foley can continue to provide a bit of deception and Folau can consistently start freeing up those long arms in contact. A few minutes later the Waratahs were at it again, this time halfback Brendan McKibbin holding up a short little pass to Wycliff Palu, who then offloaded to Foley. In that period, the Waratahs were playing as if they meant it.
Whether it's ''expansive'' rugby or not is utterly irrelevant, because that unhelpful term can lead you to all sorts of fool's gold.
If you watched the Crusaders versus Blues game, for example, you would have seen a lot of width, or expansiveness, on some of the Crusaders' play that was deeply ineffectual in contrast to the Blues' direct runners. The Canterbury side, like the Waratahs, also promised a "total rebrand" of their style over the pre-season, but if going from side to side is what it amounts to, they are in for a trying season against the disciplined defences.
The other good thing about the way the Waratahs are playing, is it puts aerobic demands on the players - all of them. Hence you had the likes of Benn Robinson collecting an offload from Polota-Nau and playing a link role - and then hitting subsequent rucks with some forward momentum. The game all suddenly becomes a lot easier when your tight five are shifting some wreckage out of the contact area.
However, the Brumbies are not going to provide the number of holes or vulnerable shoulders offered in Sydney last week, especially on their turf. White's side have been the most complete of the Australian outfits so far, and even with an unhelpful early bye, have a solidity about them the Waratahs will do well to break down.
Unusually for Australian sides, the Brumbies are strong defensively in the No.10 channel and will not baulk at putting the boot on ball, particularly if they have seen something in Folau's positional work in the back three as they did with part-time fullback Quade Cooper in round one.
There is another reason why they are well equipped to take on Cheika's developing team: David Pocock.
In golfing terms, this is a moving weekend for Wallabies contenders, a chance for the big players to remind the field of their presence. Pocock is being kept honest by the youthful enthusiasm of Hooper and Liam Gill and has George Smith on his own bench, but there is still no one stronger over the ball, or as physical in the initial contact.
The British and Irish Lions, as they will with James O'Connor and Cooper in Melbourne, will be watching like hawks.