Director of Rugby Mark Hammett has demanded a response from his Cardiff Blues when they travel to Treviso - revealing he did not hold back in an 'upfront and honest' review in the wake of defeat to Munster.
Cardiff Blues fly to Italy to face Treviso at Stadio Monigo in the Guinness PRO12 on Friday evening (kick-off 8.05pm local time).
Hammett admits his team let themselves down in the recent defeat to Munster in Cork and expects a response when they face a Treviso team that they defeated 36-25 in an entertaining clash at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park in late November.
He said: “We had an upfront and honest review about the game – there was no holding back and the guys have responded really well.
“It was disappointing because in the Guinness PRO12 this year we have gone up and up in terms of our performance. But we let ourselves down in Munster and we need to make amends for that.
“In a good high performance environment you are always on edge,” he added. “You are always demanding more of each other and to be successful that is the environment and culture you need, one that is always challenging.
“The players have been good here but like all environments you need the leaders to lead. Young guys have to be professional and all of us have to challenge the way we do things.
“I have been lucky enough to be involved in some top teams like the All Blacks and the Crusaders, and they were really challenging teams to be part of. We are in a situation when we are not in the place we want to be in the table so that makes it a challenge.”
Meanwhile, Hammett has revealed fly half Gareth Anscombe and prop Scott Andrews could feature in Italy after being released back to the region by Wales.
“Gareth Anscombe and Scott Andrews are available to us this week. We’ve also got Cory Allen and Kristian Dacey who played last week at Munster,” he added.
“If you have your internationals back that is great news; these guys have not played a lot of rugby in recent weeks so they will be keen and energised to perform.”