Duane Goodfield believes Saturday’s trip to face Benetton Rugby is a golden opportunity for Cardiff Blues players to stake a claim in John Mulvihill’s plans.
A number of senior players including Ellis Jenkins, Jarrod Evans, Olly Robinson and Nick Williams are unavailable for the trip to Italy due to international duties or injuries.
Goodfield says it’s been a ‘brutally honest’ week of training as the group are hungry to back bounce from last week’s disappointing European defeat to Leicester Tigers.
“Preparations have been good, and we had a good session out there today, ready ahead of the team run tomorrow,” said the scrum coach.
“It was a difficult start to the week, as it was obviously disappointing from last week’s game.
“But you’ve got to quickly recover from that and focus on the task this week.
“It was important to review the game against Leicester thoroughly, and both players and staff were hugely disappointed with the performance.
“We needed to be better, so there’s been brutally honest conversations about it, but from Tuesday onwards it’s been all pre-focused ahead of Treviso this weekend.
“There are boys who have come in and trained hard all season, and have been waiting for this opportunity.
“That’s been the message this week - they need to go out there and take this opportunity.
“Yes, it’s a big challenge. But the bigger the challenge, the bigger the opportunity, and hopefully the boys can go and do themselves proud with a good performance.
“The biggest focus for us is performance. The focus all week has been getting the performance right. We review our performance and standards internally.
“At times we don’t even focus primarily on the results, but we know the importance of it to the club and the supporters.
“We believe that if we concentrate on our performance, then other things will fall in place and that’s remained the focus this week, as it will over the next couple of weeks.”
Wales’ Capital Region head to the Stadio Comunale di Monigo as the only Guinness PRO14 side to maintain a 100 per cent record on their own ball in the scrum.
Scrum coach, Goodfield, is delighted to see the hard work from the training ground pay off, but is expecting another tough challenge against the Italian outfit on Saturday.
The former Cardiff Blues and Dragons hooker said: “There’s a young group of players in the pack who have worked extremely hard, even with the likes of Dmitri [Arhip], Corey [Domachowski] and Dillon [Lewis] unavailable.
“Those youngsters are putting in the hard work, and it’s paid off so far.
“However, it’s going to be another big test out in Treviso this week and we know that.
“We’ve worked hard during the week and hopefully we can keep those standards high.”