The pressure of expectation is starting to mount for the Blues ahead of their semifinal against the Brumbies says coach Leon MacDonald.

MacDonald said that was something addressed in team meetings, but, he said, the important thing for the side was to retain their day-by-day thinking.

"That's our best way of getting to a final. It's a formula that works for us. 

"The extra external noise is starting to ramp up a big, which is even more reason for us to hone in on what's important," he said.

"We played the Brumbies a couple of weeks ago, and that was a torrid game, especially around the breakdown, they were brutal in there.

"Some of the things we did, we probably won't get away with next week, so we're expecting a good honest review. It's a big week for us to get it right."

MacDonald said Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, who got himself on the scorecard for the first time with a well-taken try, was starting to play with freedom.

"He's not thinking about where he needs to stand, and what a spiral pass feels like. He's thinking about playing rugby and gets his eyes up.

"He gets excited when the ball is around him, and he wants to play. It gives guys like Beauden the chance to let it go.

"Now he's starting to be demanding of people around him when they're not moving or calling the ball. We need him to be that player. The leadership skills he's shown for the Warriors, he's starting to bring that confidently to the Blues now," he said.

The Blues take on the Brumbies at Eden Park on Saturday at 7.05pm NZT.