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We'll give our army of fans lots to shout about vows O'Driscoll

LEINSTER legend Brian O'Driscoll says his team has a secret weapon for their vital Heineken Cup clash with the Cardiff Blues at the Aviva this evening.

Joe Schmidt's men go in search of their third Heineken Cup triumph in four years and O'Driscoll knows the importance of the home fans.

"The crowd and the home advantage count for something because when the crowd gets behind you it can be worth a score or two," O'Driscoll said.

"It's the team's prerogative to give the crowd something to shout about.

"It's important to get them on side from the off."







Fabulous

Leinster have been unbeatable at the Aviva Stadium in the Heineken Cup since moving there and O'Driscoll says a lot of that is down to the fabulous Leinster faithful

A bumper crowd of 50,000 will pack the Dublin 4 venue this evening, desperate to cheer their province on to another famous European victory.

The Blue army played a pivotal role in last year's success, inspiring Leo Cullen's side to stunning victories over European powerhouses Toulouse and the Leicester Tigers.

The visitors' build-up for tonight's game could not have been more difficult, with the past seven days marred by poor form, off-field indiscipline, sackings and serious injuries.

Gavin Henson's was dismissed on Monday after he got drunk and started throwing ice cubes around the cabin of a flight between Glasgow and Cardiff last Saturday after the Blues' heavy defeat to the Glasgow Warriors.

A number of other players were also guilty of drinking but their behaviour was excused, prompting an angry tweet from Henson's former team-mate Casey Lualala.

"It wasn't bad at all. Been blown out of proportion. Club are just amateurs dealing with things," he wrote before the tweet was promptly taken down.

Cardiff backs coach Gareth Baber defended the Blues' decision and insists swift action was essential to allow sole focus on the Aviva Stadium showdown.

"It was not welcome news coming back on Saturday morning," said Baber.

"The players went out, several of them went out. But they did not take it to the excess that that individual (Henson) did.

"They (the other players) came back to the hotel and they were fine.







Injury

"They are grown men and they are professionals. It takes a lot for players to wind down.

"Obviously it was a bit disappointing to be in that situation on Saturday morning but that's the way it was.

"We did not want it this week but it has been dealt with. We felt that was necessary so we could focus our minds on what we need to do."

To compound Henson's dismissal, the Blues also lost talisman Jamie Roberts to a cruciate knee injury which rules him out for the next six months.

Blues scrum-half Lloyd Williams admits Cardiff are happy to be underdogs going into the match and reckons the Welsh can cause a major upset.

"We're the only ones who believe we can do a job out there. We're underdogs but we're quite happy with that tag and are quietly confident that we can win," said Williams.

"A lot of last week (the Glasgow game and aftermath) was down to mentality and you have to question whether all the boys wanted to be there," added Williams.

"Preparation went well but for some reason or another we weren't at the races."

Despite voices of defiance, Cardiff are ripe for the picking, so it should be another memorable night for the Leinster team and their army of fans.

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