Willis Halaholo has urged Cardiff Blues to maintain a Test match mentality ahead of Friday's clash with Zebre in the Guinness PRO12 (7.05pm).
The Blues blew the Ospreys away at the Principality Stadium in their last outing and return to BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park for their last home encounter of the season.
Danny Wilson’s men are already assured of a play-off spot for the last remaining position in the European Champions Cup and are determined to keep their confidence and momentum intact.
And Halaholo, who arrived in November, believes his team must now harness the ability to consistently perform starting with Zebre but also as they move towards the play-offs and beyond.
He said: “It’s been tough, we’ve had a lot of injuries, trying to get a lot of combinations together and get things going, but there is a bit of frustration because there are a few games we definitely could’ve taken.
“It’s another building block and we’ve got to look forward to the next couple of games, leading up to next season.
“When you have everyone on the paddock, it becomes a bit easier as a team. We’ve had a few disruptions with injuries and international call-ups and I guess that left us a bit vulnerable. The positive is, when all the boys are back, things tend to go smoothly.
“The belief is definitely there. We need to work out what we can do worst case scenario, when injuries come along, to carry momentum on throughout the season.
“I know the great teams treat every game as a Test match. You can’t fall back because it’s a different game. We have to treat it just like the Ospreys and block out the noise. It is 15 v 15 and we have to get the job done.
“We want to keep the momentum going, take it game-by-game and hopefully carry that momentum into the play-off games.”
On a personal level Halaholo is also hoping to hits the heights on a more consistent basis.
The centre has shown plenty of flashes of brilliance since his arrival in Wales but after going straight from a full southern hemisphere season of Super Rugby and Mitre 10 Cup action, he admits it has been a tough ask.
He has thoroughly enjoyed the switch however and believes he now has firm foundations in place to fire on all cylinders week in, week out.
Halaholo added: “I thought I could over and handle it but half way through my body started to break down, I was getting fatigued and that could be seen in a few of my performances but it’s a good challenge and a good learning.
“It needed to take time. For me, coming from two different environments straight into this one, with no break, it was a bit hard for me to adapt. We’ve got to block out the noise from the outside, work on our game and try to gel. I think it’s coming along smoothly.
“I’m really glad I came before next season when I will have a good handle to start from.”