Director of Rugby Mark Hammett admits he is relishing his first taste of a big Welsh derby as Cardiff Blues tackle Ospreys in the Guinness PRO12 at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday afternoon (kick-off 4pm).
Blues complete a run of three away league games with a trip to Swansea to face the undefeated Ospreys.
Hammer has called on his team to raise their performance levels from the comeback draw with Connacht last week if they are to enjoy success.
And he admits the added spice of derby day should make the game a great occasion.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” he said. “I am obviously learning how different people react to different circumstances too.
“When I was in New Zealand and I went to the Hurricanes I was lucky enough to come from the Crusaders and I didn’t realise how much the Hurricanes hated the Crusaders, where I had come from.
“It was incredible to see, you didn’t have to pick the players up at all. They were the one team that they really got up for and it was something I didn’t know.
“We are going into the unknown for me in terms of how my players feel about playing the opposition and how they will react.
“But I think one thing is for sure it doesn’t where you are or who you are if you are an international and trying to claim a stake in that early Test series these are the games you want to perform in.
“These games are critical and I don’t even have to presume that, we know that is how it will be.”