Cardiff Blues scrum-half Lloyd Williams insists Friday night's clash against the Ospreys will see two top sides competing, desperate for a win to maintain impressive starts to their respective campaigns.
Wales’ Capital Region will head to the Liberty Stadium one place ahead of their opponents on the Guinness PRO12 league table, in fourth position.
Despite a 16-13 defeat to Leinster last weekend, Williams is confident his team remain on-track for the season.
Williams said: “You’ve got the two in-form teams in Wales at the moment and both sides will want to come out on top.
“Leinster last week was definitely a game we could’ve won. The game showed we’re going in the right direction. It was just one of those games that fell on the wrong side for us on the day.
“We haven’t come that close to beating Leinster in a while. But I’m not saying that’s something we can accept, because we didn’t by any means. We’re still playing some good rugby and it’s just small things we need to adjust and change.”
Williams, capped 27-times by Wales, has earned plaudits for his early season form, but he does recognise the danger the Ospreys side possesses ahead of their clash on Friday.
“They had a good performance out in Ulster last week and it’s going to be a big task for us on Friday. We know what’s ahead of us,” said Williams.
“The good thing is everyone has played there before and experienced the atmosphere at the Liberty, so it’s not going to be anything new. They’ve got some big players who play well and we’ve got to try to take that away from them.”
The Cardiff Blues v Ospreys clash on Friday will be part of Guinness PRO12’s first Big Weekend of the season, with Scarlets hosting Newport Gwent Dragons in the second Welsh derby of the weekend on Saturday.
Williams insists the Cardiff Blues squad recognizes the importance of the season’s Welsh derby matches.
“The Welsh derbies is a big thing for us. It’s going to be a big game on Friday and we’re all chomping at the bits.”
Williams continues: “It’s good that we’re playing such a big game so early in the season. But I don’t think it matters whether you play a derby on the first or last day of the season - they’re always going to be big occasions, and massive chances for us as a region to take another step forward.
“It’s a big one for the fans as well. We haven’t beaten the Ospreys in a while and there are a lot of people itching to change that.”