But last night Pontypridd No.8 Dan Godfrey said the players were now desperate to lift the trophy this weekend for their most respected captain.
"Our thoughts have been with Dale ever since we heard the news last week," said Godfrey. "First and foremost I think it puts things into perspective and makes you realise that rugby is not the be all and end all of life. Secondly, the feeling is so strong for Dale in the club and the town for that matter, that we would love to win the cup for him.
"I have texted him a couple of times to pass on my thoughts and I understand it has hit him really hard."
McIntosh has led from the front this season for a Pontypridd side which has endured a topsy turvy league campaign. However, even in his absence, the Valley Commandos appear strong enough to make this a special final for the fans. Between 5000 and 10000 are expected on the day for a game that has certainly taken on new meaning - for both side.
Llanelli captain Ioan Cunningham, one of the rising stars of the game in Wales, said, "It's desperate news for Dale and I'm sure their boys will be even more fired up for the game.
"But we will be too. The news makes this a special final and if the weather stays like this and both teams play like we have all season, it will a final to remember."
Llanelli's chances have certainly not been helped by the news that centre Emyr Williams suffered a broken leg last weekend, but their squad is otherwise at full strength with Cunningham hopeful that the side can keep the Scarlet tradition going.
"I have had loads of text messages wishing me good luck this week and the town is buzzing once again. I think we will have a few coming up and I'm sure Ponty will too."
Godfrey said, "It would be great to be able to give something back to the town. They have had it hard in recent months with the club struggling."
Tickets are £10 adults,£5 children and are available on the day from the Millennium Stadium Ticket Shop, 98 St Mary Street.