Jason Strange knows all about going to a cup final with Ebbw Vale.

The only time the Steelmen reached the WRU Premiership Cup final, or Challenge Cup final as it was then, was way back in 1998.

On that occasion, Ebbw were beaten by Llanelli at Ashton Gate and missed out on the chance to pick up some major silverware.

This weekend, with Strange as coach rather than player, they will be flying the flag for Gwent rugby in the quarter-finals with a home game against Cardiff.

When the two teams met in the Indigo Premiership in September at the Arms Park, Strange's men waltzed to a 36-21 win with three driving line-out tries, but the team is expecting a totally different challenge this time.

South Wales Argus: Ebbw Vale hunt a home success against Cardiff in the quarter-finals of the cupEbbw Vale hunt a home success against Cardiff in the quarter-finals of the cup (Image: NCR Photography)

"Cardiff have improved since then and will be coming into the cup tie on the back of a 60-point win over Aberavon, who we lost to last week," said Strange.

"We have also got better and it is a fixture that has all the ingredients for a great cup clash. Even the weather has gone into traditional mode for this time of year.

"We want to get back to winning ways after our defeat at Aberavon. We were a few players short in that game, but we've got Rhys Francis and Curtis Gregory back fit and they will make a difference.

"The game at Aberavon ranks alongside the one at Pontypool as our poorest performance of the season."

Currently sitting pretty in second place in the Indigo Premiership, Ebbw Vale have only reached the cup final once in their history.

A home win this weekend would give the Eugene Cross Park club a real shot at reaching Principality Stadium.

The other games see Llandovery host Aberavon, Merthyr welcome Carmarthen Quins and Swansea entertain Bridgend.

"Cardiff are the cup holders and have already knocked out Newport. They always rise to the occasion and should have a number of professional players available to them," added Strange.

"I can still remember playing in the 1998 cup final even though it is a long time ago. It would be nice to give the Ebbw fans something knew to shout about.

"It is going to be another step along the way in our journey with this club. We are not desperately chasing silverware at this stage of our development, but it would be nice if it happened."

The top flight takes a break this weekend because of the cup but there is Championship East action with a Gwent derby at Pandy Park where Cross Keys host Newbridge.

Bargoed travel to Rumney hunting a win to keep the heat on leaders Ystrad Rhonnda, who entertain Treorchy.

Bedwas, fresh from a magnificent win against the pace-setters, head to Beddau, Penallta go to St Peters and Cardiff Met host Glamorgan Wanderers.