Blaine Scully has called on Cardiff Blues to embrace the unique atmosphere of Kingsholm as they chase a place in the last four of the European Challenge Cup.
After notching up five wins from six in the pool stages of the competition, the Blues face Gloucester in a hotly anticipated quarter-final on Saturday.
Scully admits it is for such occasions that he plays rugby and he is desperate to grasp the opportunity in front of what promises to be a vociferous crowd.
He said: “That is why you play, to have the opportunity to chase cups like this. This is now everything to us. It is where all our focus is.
“It will be pretty big, our biggest game of the year and a real raw opportunity for us to go out make a statement and put in a performance.
“Kingsholm is pretty unique and one of the great grounds. They obviously love everything about their rugby team, it’s an energetic crowd and can be hostile but as a competitor that’s a great place to go and compete.
“It’s fun to be in that environment and feels like it’s you against the world. You have to embrace that moment and enjoy it for what it – an amazing opportunity to play in a great ground, against a great opponent in a really meaningful game.”
Wales’ Capital Region warmed up for the encounter with a slender 21-20 defeat to Guinness PRO12 leaders Leinster, in a game they should have won in Dublin.
While Scully admitted the result was disappointing, he was pleased with the performance and insists Cardiff Blues can take confidence.
He continued: “It’s something we can take confidence from and build on. It’s a game where we did pretty well and we’d like to take that into this week with the opportunity to get better.
“The performance was hugely important to us and transferring that to results we are capable of is the next step for us.
“Even if you are playing as well as you could, there is always an opportunity to get better. One of the great things about being a sportsman is chasing the next opportunity to get better in the next moment.
“As a team we’re on that path and we will continue to chase as hard as we can day in day our through training, which will hopefully put us in a position to bring it all together this weekend.”
Scully has plenty of experience against the Cherry and Whites from his time as a Leicester Tigers and has kept a close eye on the Kingsholm outfit in recent weeks.
He expects a formidable challenge and knows the Blues must gear up for a physical onslaught.
Scully added: “I know a few of them and we spend a lot of time doing our homework and analysis watching their previous games.
“They have threats across the board, they are a really good premiership team with some dangerous men in the back three especially, the midfield and big ball carriers up and down the park.
“They will be a big, physical team that we will have to go to battle with.”