Prop Sam Hobbs admits he is desperate to bring up his hundred for Cardiff Blues with a crucial derby day victory over Dragons at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Boxing Day (kick-off 2.05pm).
Front row ace Hobbs has been named in the starting line-up for the Guinness PRO12 home clash and will pack down with Adam Jones and Matthew Rees as he makes his 100th appearance for Blues.
The 26-year-old acknowledges the game will be a special one when he reflects back on his career.
But the Brecon-born prop is more concerned with a derby day victory for Blues then personal milestones and backing up the victory over Scarlets with another crucial win.
“It really is all about backing up the Scarlets game. Being consistent and a get a run going to get up the table,” he said.
“Consistency is the big thing for us going forward in 2015. We have shown in patches we can play but can’t afford to take our foot off the gas.
“A massive 80 minute performance and then backing that up is the way forward for us.
“Last week was a good result and the first half against Scarlets was probably our best performance of the season,” he added.
“The set piece went well against a good challenge from Scarlets and the backs ran hard and showed real energy.
“Second half they upped the game and tempo, but we scrambled well and to not concede a try was a big plus for us.
“These back to back double headers go a long way to making or breaking the season. It’s not only a local derby there is big implications for the league table.”
Hobbs admits the festive derby games are one of the highlights of the season for him and said: “I love the derby games. It’s hard for the family because you don’t get much time off, but growing up as a kid these were the games you wanted to go and see with your family on Boxing Day.
“This year we are at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park and we know Dragons will bring a lot of fans for a day out too. Hopefully it will be packed and it’s an atmosphere we want to play in.”
But he is also aware of the size of the challenge the Dragons will bring as they look to upset the festive celebrations in the Welsh capital.
“I admire the way the Dragons play,” said Hobbs. “They don’t respect anyone and fight for everything. We have to match that intensity and make sure our game plan is right.
“I’m not sure what team will face us, but we know Jason Tovey has a lovely left foot and they will look to play territory.
“They have some X-factor players and people like Talupe Faletau, who scored a heck of a try against us last Boxing Day.
“We need to be ready and on top of them. They bring a solid set piece and fight hard in the contact area. It’s going to be a massive game and one we are all looking forward to being a part of.”
Terrace tickets remain on sale from the Ticket Office at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Christmas Eve! Or click HERE to buy online. Join us for a huge Guinness PRO12 encounter at the home of the Blues!