In-form Chiefs keep it sim­ple against Tigers

Le­ices­ter Tigers v Ex­eter Chiefs

Sport360 - - Motorsport Malaysian Grand Prix - By An­drew Bal­dock @balders2 editorial@sport360.com

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.

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