Exeter Chiefs may have left it late to sink rivals Bath last weekend, but head coach Rob Baxter is calling for a fast start from his team ahead of tomorrow’s Aviva Premiership clash with Saracens at a sold out Allianz Park (3pm).
Back-to-back victories over the festive period have helped to lift the Devonians to third in the standings at the halfway point, but it’s this weekend’s tussle with the reigning English and European champions that should prove the ‘acid test’ of how far the Chiefs have come in recent weeks.
Don Armand says it’s imperative he and his Exeter Chiefs team-mates ‘stay in the fight’ for the full 80 minutes when they tackle reigning English and European champions Saracens at a sold-out Allianz Park (3pm).
Following the lead of head coach Rob Baxter, who often coins that very phrase many times over the course of a season, Armand knows there is no bigger test than facing the Londoners in competitive battle.
Luke Cowan-Dickie hailed Exeter Chiefs’ fighting spirit after they emerged with a dramatic New Year’s Eve victory at Bath.
Trailing 11-0 following a disappointing first half at the Recreation Ground, Rob Baxter’s side were much improved during the second period, initially reducing the deficit with a Gareth Steenson penalty, before two late converted tries from James Short sealed a first-ever league win in the Roman City for the Devon club.
Exeter Chiefs youngster Jack Maunder admitted to have mixed feelings in the aftermath of his side’s latest European Champions Cup defeat at the hands of Bordeaux Begles.
Scrum-half Maunder claimed his first-ever try in Exeter colours during the first half at Sandy Park, but it proved not enough as the French side hit back in the second period to record a 13-7 victory over Rob Baxter’s side.
Exeter Rugby Club chairman and chief executive, Tony Rowe OBE, heralded a “fantastic” past year – on and off the field – for the Aviva Premiership club when addressing the club’s members at their Annual General Meeting held at Sandy Park.
Building on the success of previous years, Mr Rowe remarked on a hugely positive 12 months for the region’s premier sporting club, highlighted by the fact that they were the most profitable club in the Premiership, returning a profit of £1.2m.
Rob Baxter says the time has come for his side to put their foot down and ‘accelerate’ their way through this season’s Aviva Premiership campaign.
After a somewhat mixed start for last season’s beaten finalists, Exeter Chiefs resume their top-flight programme tomorrow evening when they make the long trip to Newcastle Falcons (8pm).
Buoyed by last weekend’s convincing 62-25 win over Cardiff Blues in the Anglo-Welsh Cup, Baxter is hoping the feel-good factor of that ten-try victory will ensure his side arrive in the North East with a spring in their step.
Exeter Chiefs coach Ricky Pellow has described Sunday’s Anglo-Welsh Cup clash with Cardiff Blues as a ‘must-win’ encounter if the Devon club harbour any hopes of qualification to the latter stages.
Undone a week ago at Harlequins 29-15, the Chiefs return to home soil this weekend determined to not only bounce back from that result, but also rediscover their winning formula after a testing few weeks of results across the board.