Will Boyde is excited for yet another ‘special’ night at the Arms Park on Saturday, as Cardiff prepare to welcome Dragons for what promises to be a thrilling United Rugby Championship derby.
The back row star is the latest Blue and Black to thank the Arms Park faithful for creating an electric atmosphere in the stands this season.
After recovering from a serious facial injury, Boyde says he has a renewed appreciation for the game and he hopes to sign off the first block of URC fixtures with a crucial win over their rivals.
“It’s been good to get back out there. I’ve had a good run of games now and have come through fairly unscathed,” said the former Wales under-20 international.
“I’m ready to kick onto the last game of the block and rebuild as a team and get the fitness back up.
“There’s always a buzz here on derby week. Screechy obviously came in from Dragons so there’s an extra bit of pride there.
“You want to do a job on them for him but it’s always brilliant to be involved in the derbies, especially against Dragons at home.
“This will be the first one for a while with the crowd here and I’m looking forward to see what they bring and it’s our job to get them making the noise like they did last weekend.
“That tough first 20 minutes of the second half wasn’t exciting, enterprise rugby for the fans.
“But they were the loudest I’ve heard in a long time and they saw the pride in our defensive work.
“They appreciated that we kept them out in a way like we’d just scored an elaborate try in the wide channels.
“That was special and gave us that extra percentage to keep them out. It could’ve been a different story if they weren’t behind us through that time.
“After the injury, every time I take to the field I try to take in the atmosphere and everything the club has to offer.
“It’s special every time I go out there now, especially with the young family in the stands. It’s a special occasion every week. I’m enjoying being back here.
“We’ve had a run of home games and I’m looking forward to having one more now before the break.”
Cardiff will head into the derby on the back of an impressive victory after overcoming the physical challenge of Cell C Sharks, and Boyde was proud of how his side bounced back from similar hurdles in the defeat to Vodacom Bulls a week earlier.
The back row added: “All the bodies are still sore but the boys are a lot happier to train on the back of a win.
“There’s a few more smiles about and there’s a big difference around the place.
“They were pretty similar games, so that shows our learnings from the week before.
“We came together in our own 22 and controlled the defence there.
“These South African men are a different breed in themselves. There’s a different aspect to the competition now.
“As we saw in the first 20 minutes of the second half, there’s a lot more forward dominance and we did well to hold out against them.
“I was really impressed with the big men. We doubled-up and got them on the back foot.”