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As both the Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys target automatic qualification for next year’s EPCR Champions Cup, there’s going to be plenty riding on their much anticipated Judgement Day VI clash later this month.

Cardiff Blues hooker Kristian Dacey and Ospreys lock Bradley Davies each have an eye firmly set on a season-defining Guinness PRO14 meeting at Principality Stadium, on Saturday 28th April, as the Wales team-mates prepare to go head-to-head in regional colours.

They agree that any opportunity to run out at the national stadium is one to be cherished, but for Davies in particular his side have some unfinished business with the men in Blue and everything to play for.

“There’s definitely an extra edge, yes,” he admits.

“Looking back on last season we came to the game a bit bullish, we were going to turn the Blues over and we ‘had our pants pulled down’ really.

“So there’ll be added spice because of what happened last season.”

As the business end to the Guinness PRO14 competition draws in, the Ospreys travel to Ulster this evening (Friday) currently in fifth place of Conference A with the Cardiff Blues, who are in fourth, overseas preparing to face Southern Kings on Saturday afternoon.

But the Ospreys have a game in hand and face Zebre (21st April) before JDVI, whilst the Cardiff Blues have a fallow weekend next week to recover from their travels and prepare for the face-off with their near-neighbours at Principality.

So the current eight point deficit haunting Davies’ side could be overturned entirely, should the Blues lose in South Africa – or even cut to just three if the Cardiff Blues win well, but the Ospreys can also achieve bonus point victories in both Ireland (tonight) and Italy (next week).

But why does the battle for fourth place matter, beyond bragging rights and a chance to put one over local rivals?

Put simply, if the Ospreys can leapfrog the Cardiff Blues in Conference A they will qualify automatically 2018/19 EPCR Champions Cup next season.

The fourth place finish is all important because Cardiff Blues or Ospreys would take one of three automatic spots in Europe’s flagship cup rugby competition next season, as the South African sides (Southern Kings are currently third in the table) are ineligible.

Whoever finishes fifth would go into a play-off against the fourth placed side in Conference B, currently Ulster, and probably face an away tie based on a likely inferior points total.

“There’s going to be a lot on it… the Blues want automatic qualification and so do we,” Davies stresses.

“Hopefully it comes down to that last weekend where it would be winner takes all and that’s only going to add to a fantastic occasion.”

From the Cardiff Blues’ perspective if they hold off the Ospreys and finish in fourth place in the Conference they too would of course take the automatic qualification spot for Europe, but they can also still dream of progressing in this year’s Guinness PRO14 competition.

Mathematically, the Cardiff Blues can still reach the knock-out stages and, from there, the Guinness PRO14 trophy is anybody’s.

It may be far-fetched but if they pick up a bonus point win (5 points in the league table) against Southern Kings tonight and do the same against Ospreys at JDVI – and Toyota Cheetahs (currently on 57 points to the Blues’ 48) capitulate to both Munster, and then Southern Kings, without claiming any losing bonus points – then the Cardiff Blues would finish third in Conference A, qualify automatically for Europe and reach the PRO14 play-offs.

It’s a tough ask because even a single losing bonus point – awarded for scoring four or more tries or for losing by less than seven points – would take the Cheetahs practically out of sight due to their superior points difference (currently +58 points in their favour) .

Dacey, though, unsurprisingly is not thinking beyond the sense of occasion he knows Blues fans will create at Principality Stadium at the moment.

“This is the best stadium in the world in my opinion,” he said.

“Especially when you come out and there’s 60 or 70 thousand people screaming… it’s something you aspire to do especially as a child, to playing at the national stadium.

“I’ve been lucky enough to do be able to do it and hopefully, come Judgement Day, I’ll be able to do it again…any chance to run out there and play in front of a big crowd is great, especially the way the season is going.

“Hopefully we can finish the season on a high and get what we need out of it.”

JDVI will also see the Dragons take on the flying high Scarlets in the opening derby of the day which is set to be another great spectacle of rugby.

The pro rugby double-header occasion is one Scarlets playmaker Rhys Patchell is also looking forward to.

The Scarlets are sitting pretty in second spot in Conference B and travel to third placed Edinburgh this weekend already looking set to be able to defend their PRO12 title.

“It’s always a pleasure to play in this stadium, and there’s a great atmosphere for the boys out on the pitch,” said Patchell, speaking at Principality Stadium

“It’s why we play, to be in front of a massive crowd in a big game and Judgement Day is a big game on the calendar.  Everybody looks forward to it because they’re exciting games and this year should be no different.”

Finally, the Dragons will admit they are off-the-pace in the league, but there’s no escaping the thought that a Principality Stadium win over the Scarlets would be like a cup final win to their supporters this season.

“We are only moving down the road from Rodney Parade, hopefully will get a fair few Dragons supporters in here and give the boys that extra boost,” added Dragons prop Leon Brown, who made his own Wales Principality Stadium las autumn.

JDVI has sold in excess of 45,000-tickets and counting, to book your seat – priced at £10-per-head – go to