Exeter Chiefs face Bristol Bears in their final Premiership Rugby Cup group game and their Derby-Day match. They do so in the knowledge that a win is their only chance to progress to the semi-finals. However, this Premiership Rugby Cup Derby-Day is about more than just the result.
With most teams using these weeks as part of their pre-season preparation giving players game time and team cohesion is also on the agenda for coaches.
David Challis spoke to the Exeter Chiefs camp as they prepared for this weekend’s game. They offered us great insight into the game against Bristol Bears. Also, they spoke of pre-season as a whole and how this weekend is a launchpad into their Premiership campaign.
Sam Simmonds – Excited to be back fit
Sam Simmonds prepares to make his first competitive start in the Premiership Rugby Cup Derby-Day after his horrific knee injury last season. He noted the importance of the game saying that “we approach every game and every tournament wanting to win it”.
Individually Simmonds knows he has to force his way back into the Exeter starting line-up and hopefully the England squad. He spoke of his desire to want “to play at the highest level” but is firmly focussed on this weekend.
“If I have a good performance and the 23 have a good performance we should come away with the win”
Matt Kvesic – new dad just in time for new season
Embed from Getty ImagesMatt Kvesic recently became a father with his wife giving birth in the last 10 days. He spoke of his happiness as well as his desire to perform at the weekend.
“Its an opportunity this week at home to put a good performance in”
Bristol Bears will be a tough opponent and Kvesic noted that “they’re a good team to watch” and “like to throw the ball around”. However, he hoped that a good performance would “give us momentum going into the premiership”.
Kvesic is fully focused on the here and now and will not be getting ahead of himself. When asked about this weekend’s match as a warm-up for Harlequins in a week he replied.
“No, we want to win, because we want to win the Premiership Rugby Cup’.
Rob Baxter – Focussed yet ‘Keeping an eye on Future’
Rob Baxter acknowledges the importance of this weekend stating that “everyone wants to do well in every competition” and that his side would be no different.
However, Baxter was open enough to admit that there was more to this week than just the result.
“I’m not going to lie and say I haven’t got an eye on making sure things work and look ready”
Overall Exeter Chiefs appear ready for the challenge that Bristol will bring at the weekend. They acknowledge the importance of the competition but will not be getting ahead of themselves. As a squad they know it is a long season and there are big challenges to come but they start this weekend.
Premiership Rugby Cup Derby-day
Exeter Chiefs v Bristol Bears – Saturday, October 12. Sandy Park
UP THE BEARS! 🐻 pic.twitter.com/WAS4Lsxutv
— Bristol Bears (@BristolBears) October 11, 2019
— Exeter Chiefs (@ExeterChiefs) October 11, 2019
“Main Photo Credits”
Embed from Getty Images