A lot can be said for playing the ball, not the man.
Team Wellington were guilty of the latter when they lost 2-0 to Hawke's Bay United two weeks ago, a result which cost them hosting rights for this Sunday's ASB Premiership semifinal against the same opposition.
It was something which Team Wellington coach Matt Calcott said they had addressed and would not be doing again.
"Yeah there is [a rivalry], but I think we've got to be mindful of our roles and the responsibilities on the park aside from the rivalry and not get too caught up in it.
"I think that was probably our downfall last time against them, it all got a bit all over the place and it's up to us to keep everything in check and remain disciplined in such an important fixture."
Their captain, Cole Peverley, was sent off in that match, while Saul Halpin, Bill Robertson, and Anthony Hobbs received yellow cards.
Ill discipline cost Team Wellington's golden boot leader, Ben Harris, a start in the semifinal, as he picked up a suspension-rendering yellow card shortly before he was about to be substituted in his side's 6-1 win against the Wellington Phoenix reserves last weekend.
The team would have enough firepower without the man who has scored 13 goals this season, Calcott said.
"Andy Bevin is back from holiday and obviously Tom Jackson is coming good at a good time.
"Magno Viera is getting himself much fitter, Luis Corrales is a fantastic player to have on the right side and is really determined to put in a good performance on Sunday.
"There are a lot of attacking options there now, it's disappointing to not have Ben, but we also have a number of striking options and we're looking forward to them performing on Sunday."
Calcott said he preferred to focus on his team, but when pushed identified a few key players for Hawke's Bay.
"Tom Biss and Sam Mason-Smith make a lot of runs in behind that can be difficult to deal with and there have been some things put in place to help deal with that.
"Paul Ifill has done well since he's come on and obviously he was with us for a bit and he probably wasn't quite right - which he knows himself - but he's done well with that year on and is always a great player to bring on.
"That's an asset to them, but we're more focused on us and what we need to do well on Sunday and not get too carried away with too many individuals from Hawke's Bay."
Sunday's victor will face the winner of the Auckland City-Canterbury semifinal at 5.35pm on Saturday in the final the following weekend.
AT A GLANCE
ASB Premiership semifinal
When and where: Bluewater Stadium, Napier and Sky Sport 3, 4.35pm Sunday
TAB: Hawke's Bay $2.20, Team Wellington $2.30, draw $4.20
Hawke's Bay: Josh Hill, Sean Liddicoat, Kohei Matsumoto, Fin Milne, Harrison Nash, Cory Chettleburgh, Tom Biss, Ross Wilcox, Cheauxyan Makau, Sam Mason-Smith, Andrew Blake, Martin Canales, Birhanu Taye, Fabien Kurimata, Paul Ifill, Kyle Baxter
Team Wellington: Scott Basalaj, Steven Gulley, Anthony Hobbs, Bill Robertson, Chris Bale, Leonardo Villa, Cole Peverley, Tom Jackson, Luis Corrales, Mario Barcia, Andy Bevin, Alex Feneridis, Magno Viera, Fergus Neil, Saul Halpin, Taylor Schrijvers, Alex Carr.