Heineken Cup holders Leinster aren't going to be fooled into thinking they can expect an easy ride in Friday night's quarter-final after ASM Clermont Auvergne went down 19-10 against struggling Stade Francais Paris in the Top 14 at the weekend.
Their three tries to one defeat at Stade de France meant they lost ground to Toulon, who moved into second place with their 31-13 home win over Bayonne, and Toulouse, who are now only one point behind them in the race for a top four finish after their 28-23 home win over Racing-Metro.
But Leinster coach Michael Cheika, who will be coaching at Stade Francias next season, isn't going to be kidded into thinking his side's task at the RDS will be any easier as a result.
Shortly after his team beat Munster 16-15 in Thomond Park last Friday night Cheika declared ASM as one of the strongest teams in Europe. Despite their defeat in Paris, he knows they are going to prove a mighty obstacle to overcome as Leinster attempt to hold onto their Heineken Cup crown.
"They didn't win the game but, if you look at their performances over the entire season, they're a pack of power. They have some unbelievable threats that we're going to have to deal," said Cheika.
"Are they the most complete side in France? I think so. They seem to have a bit of everything; big power up front, an excellent set piece, they can be very destructive in the maul and they have some interesting play-makers such as Morgan Parra, who was the player of the Six Nations.
"He's orchestrating everything around the base, there's Brock James and they have a lot of other threats across their backline and off the bench as well. We see them as the best team that's operating in France at the moment and I think it really resonates for us that it's going to be a massive game.
"They have a really strong defence and an excellent kicking game - they're very complete. As far as their position in the Top 14 is concerned, two of the three teams ahead of them aren't playing in Europe."
Cheika has received some major boosts in the past four days ahead of Friday night's big showdown in front of a capacity 20,000 crowd at the RDS. Friday night's win over Munster was a first in Limerick for 15 years and lifted his side seven points clear at the top of the Magners League.
Then came the news that his three missing Irish internationals, Brian O'Driscoll, Shane Horgan and Kevin McLaughlin, should all be available for selection this week.
"We'd be confident that all of them will play. Brian did some training over the weekend, as did Kevin, while Shane trained on Monday. We're taking an extra precaution to get him right for this week, and he'd be pretty confident as well, so there should be no problem there," added Cheika.
"Friday's win makes this week a bit easier, but we've learned too many times in all competitions that the last week means nothing unless you back it up the next week. It is sudden death football now, so I think it's going to come down to who wants it more on the night.
"Clermont are a team who don't seem to have an issue about going away from home. They have shown their strategic prowess in the two matches they played in their Pool against Leicester and the Ospreys. "They're also very well managed and it's going to be the biggest battle of our season so far."
As part of the build-up to next month's Cardiff 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals weekend, ERC has joined forces with the WRU, Cardiff Blues and adidas to develop an annual grassroots community rugby programme targeting young players.
The Ulster Rugby full back, Jared Payne (No 15), has been suspended for two (2) weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in Dublin arising from the Heineken Cup quarter-final match against Saracens at Ravenhill Stadium on Saturday, 5 April.