Straight-talking Defence Coach Dale McIntosh has urged his Cardiff Blues to grasp the opportunity to shine when they face Newport Gwent Dragons in a huge European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final this Saturday afternoon.
Cardiff Blues will make the short trip to Rodney Parade for an eagerly anticipated derby clash.
And McIntosh – known as the Chief – has delivered a rousing rallying cry to his team ahead of the game and urged them to fully understand the magnitude and significance of the game.
“If you are lucky or any good enough, you might play in six or seven European quarter-finals in your lifetime,” he said. “Every time you get that opportunity you have to grasp it.
“My advice to the players is to understand the magnitude of the game and what it takes to win mentally and physically.
“You have to go to a dark place and do things you don’t normally contemplate. You have to get off the floor quicker and hit harder.
“We know the magnitude of the game, not just to the players but the club and our supporters. The important thing is the psyche in which the boys go into this game.
“We are not that naive in thinking we are going into that game taking the Dragons lightly. We have no right to do that and our place in the league table says that.
“It will be the biggest game for Dragons for a few years and they will be dealing with it as serious as we are,” he added. “They will also be confident given the injury list which we have got.”
McIntosh is also determined for Blues to avoid a repeat of the derby day defeat they suffered at the end of 2014.
“When we played at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park in December we disrespected ourselves by disrespecting the Dragons and got exactly what we deserved.
“If we do that again we will do the same and we don’t make the same mistake twice.
“We went to the Dragons for the second game in the New Year and gave them the respect they deserved and won the game which was another arm wrestle.”