Reds are mid-table at halfway point and face Moana Pasifika away in Round 8.

Reds coach Les Kiss is eager to embrace the road less travelled ahead of Queensland's Round 8 Super Rugby Pacific clash in Whangarei.

The sixth-placed Reds will tackle eighth-placed Moana Pasifika on Friday in the heart of New Zealand's Northland region, a three-hour drive north of Auckland.

Whangarei's Semenoff Stadium hosted two Wallaroos wins during the 2022 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand and has already tasted Super Rugby this year with the Blues-Drua clash in Round 1.

"It brings excitement and opportunity. You don't get the chance to go over there often. It's a fantastic place and the boys are excited by that," Kiss told media on Tuesday.

"But we're also playing a team that's got the bit between their teeth. The score lines may not show it but they're hungry, committed, and keep coming back."

Moana have struggled since their Round 4 away win in Perth, dropping their past three games to the Brumbies, Blues and Chiefs by an average of 44 points.

But Queensland lock Ryan Smith told their rivals' form meant little ahead of crucial game following a Reds bye and consecutive losses to the Force and Brumbies.

"We were really frank and honest in our conversation about what we need for this weekend. Violence and brutality and being really accurate were all at the forefront of the conversations," Smith said.

"It's really important we keep our eye on the ball - we can't look at (Moana's) results as an indicator of what they're going to be like this weekend.

"We know even deep into games, they're fierce competitors and they step up. They're really physical guys so it should be a great hit-out this weekend."

Smith is yet to feature in 2024 but Kiss told the second-rower would earn his 50th Super Rugby cap against Moana over the ditch.

One player who is certain to miss the plane is James O'Connor with Kiss telling media the Wallaby veteran was still "weeks" away from returning.

"He won't be with us for another couple of weeks. I'm very keen to make sure that doesn't move too quickly," Kiss said of O'Connor.

"It's still a long season and a long way to go so he won't be travelling."

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