Newcastle Falcons stand-off Jimmy Gopperth believes the break from Premiership competition has helped refresh the Kingston Park outfit.
Falcons won their two European Challenge Cup games against Lyon and Petrarca, but return to domestic competition at Harlequins on Sunday.
"The last two weeks have been crucial," Gopperth told BBC Newcastle.
"The pressure has been off, we've played some good rugby, the challenge is to take that into the Quins game."
Prior to the break Falcons have won just one of their league encounters this season, beating Wasps 15-10 at home in October. but will face the toughest of tests at The Stoop against a team unbeaten in all competitions.
Meanwhile Gopperth, 27, was rested during the European rounds having featured in all eight of the Falcons' Premiership matches so far this season.
"I'm actually feeling good, it's been able to get over a couple of little niggles.
"It's also good to sit back and watch the boys really perform well.
"It makes me want to get out there and get amongst it with the boys, it's given me a bit more hunger.
"I'm feeling nice and refreshed and ready to go."