Guildford, Surrey (UK) - Rugby has its traditional rivalries - England v Ireland, New Zealand v Australia - and in North America, it doesn't get any more contentious than the USA v Canada match-up. When the two teams face off for 5th place at the Women's Rugby World Cup on Sunday, there will be no shortage of aggression, perfect for the final day of play.
Sure, the familiarity of the match-up might feel anti-climatic to spectators, especially since the teams have played each other five times in the last year, but the players know that Sunday's match will be unlike any other.
"It's the world cup; not just another two-test series," scrumhalf Kim Magrini said. "The game is the 'it.'"
The teams have played each other once in the tournament's six iterations, and the Eagles won that 1998 contest 46-6. The playing field has leveled since them. Coming into the 2010 tournament, Canada was ranked #4 and the USA #5.
"It's any given Sunday with Canada," Magrini said. "What happened four years ago doesn't matter."
"Every game is different," USA captain Ashley English added. "We have played Canada a lot last year so we know some of their tricks, but they know some of our tricks. We'll just have to see what happens on the day and hopefully we will come out on top."
After four international matches, the Eagles have learned a lot in the past two weeks. "The pace gets you," hooker Lisa Butts noted. "I don't have nerves anymore," number eight Mel Denham added. "Those first couple of tests are nerve wracking, but I'm just ready to play now."
Combining the team's ever-building experience with the momentum they've built since their England and Ireland matches, the USA wants this final contest to be the epitome of their build-up.
"For me, this is the culmination of my four years in the program, from day one to our fifth game at the world cup," Magrini said. "Regardless of [Sunday's] outcome, we've controlled what we were able to control and have improved so much. This is what we've done and we should be proud of it. After the England game, for example, I had people from different countries, Englishmen, say what a great game we played. I was so proud of us."
"Yes, there's this match coming up," Denham added, "but there's what we've done during the world cup as a whole. Being able to come back against Ireland, to score two tries against England - the only tries against them in the tournament thus far. We've grown so much. It's had a huge impact on this team and the future."
The teams are playing for fifth and need to show there is little room between them and the top four teams duking it out at Twickenham Stoop this weekend.
"This match is going to have a whole different feel," Denham said. "It's us versus them."
"I think both us and USA have worked hard to get into this position and whoever plays well on the day will get the position," Canada coach John Long said. "Hopefully it's us. ... We're very familiar with one another and you can guarantee it will be a big battle and that fifth spot will be important to both teams. Those girls are very adamant that they want to go out on a high."