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Cardiff Blues 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 (kick off 12.45pm).

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.”

And Cardiff Blues fly half Gareth Anscombe insists Cardiff Blues are ready for the ‘biggest game of the season’ as they head to Rodney Parade.

Anscombe, recently part of the Welsh squad for the 6 Nations, is hoping for a winning return after he inspired Blues to victory with a man-of-the-match performance in the Guinness PRO12 clash between the teams on New Year’s Day.

But the 23-year-old is under no illusions as the red-hot reception Blues can expect in the clash, also being screened live on BT Sport 2.

“It’s been good to be back on the field playing,” he said. “It was not the result we were after against Ulster last week, but we now have the biggest game of the season. There is a lot riding on it and the boys are excited.

“You want to play in big games and this is one of them. There is extra pressure on everyone, especially when you look at the PRO12 season, so this is a chance for us to bring a trophy to the cabinet.

“The Dragons will back themselves at home, but we are confident too. I enjoyed the first two derby games with Dragons; it’s like in Super Rugby when you play teams from your conference.

“There is always a little bit more riding on those games, you know each other well, so they are physical encounters and the last time at Rodney Parade was pretty special.

“You want to play well in big games and I want to lead the team around and get us the result.”