In-form Chiefs keep it simple against Tigers
Leicester Tigers v Exeter Chiefs
Exeter boss Rob Baxter wants the Chiefs to keep it simple when they bid to retain top spot in the Aviva Premiership today.
A fourth successive league win for Exeter would keep them top of the pile, and they travel to face Leicester fresh from an impressive bonus point victory over Wasps.
“Leicester have a new coach in charge and he is looking to establish some different qualities in that team,” Rugby director Baxter said.
“They are looking more comfortable as the weeks go by, and I think they are increasing as a threat in the Premiership.
“That means that, for us, we actually have to keep things simple.
“What do we want to do on the day? What are the qualities that suit us? Can we force them on to the opposition more than they can force them on to us? That is what we have to focus on.
“The players put a lot into the early stages of the (Wasps) game. They went out there with the determination to start the game well and set the scene.
“The way we kept the ball for the opening 10 minutes of the game, which led to our first score, was really exemplary and probably laid the foundations for how we won.
“As a coach, you can’t really ask for any more than that. They took on board all of the messages and went out and performed at a very high level.
“The second-half was a little frustrating because maybe some of the tactical things we did weren’t right, rather than the physical things.”
Leicester are chasing a third successive league win after losing their opening two fixtures against Bath and Northampton.
“We weren’t as good as we need to be in the first two rounds, and we were really disappointed with our performance at Northampton,” Tigers head coach Matt O’Connor said.
“But the lads have driven it well, we have made some adjustments and we’ve had two good results since then. We did a lot of good things against Quins last week, and now we have to be better again.
“Chiefs are champions for a reason. They are a very efficient team and they make very few mistakes. It’s important to step up again, to aim up physically and be accurate.”
Today’s other game sees Northampton, fresh from a comfortable win at London Irish last time out, host Harlequins, while Wasps entertain Bath tomorrow.
England and Northampton captain Dylan Hartley is again absent as he continues his recovery from a hand injury, with Quins missing four players - Chris Robshaw, James Horwill, Rob Buchanan and Charlie Walker.
“The trip to Franklin’s Gardens is always a challenging one, and obviously our squad is stretched,” Quins Rugby director John Kingston said.
Chiefs: chasing fourth straight win.