Fixtures - Top Bar

Chiefs’ buzz excites Bateman

GregBatemanChiefs

Greg Bateman believes lessons learnt last season by the Exeter Chiefs are paying dividends this term with the Devon club riding high in the Aviva Premiership.

Rob Baxter’s side finished last season’s Premiership campaign in eighth spot, matching the same position that they finished in their inaugural season amongst English rugby’s elite.

It was a disappointing outcome for the Chiefs, especially having landed top six finishes in their two previous seasons.

There were, however, mitigating factors according to head coach Baxter, who not only saw his side slip to a number of one score defeats, but also saw them land their first-ever piece of major silverware when they lifted the LV= Cup against eventual champions Northampton Saints in March.

Several months down the line, though, and things are looking much brighter for the Chiefs. Currently sat second in the Premiership behind the Saints and top of both their LV= and European Challenge Cup groups, it’s been a more than useful introduction to the 2014/15 season for those in the Westcountry.

Bateman, who signed at the start of last season from London Welsh, is encouraged by what he sees of the current Exeter mix and feels the “pain” of certain results last season has helped to harden the Chiefs this time round.

“Sometimes you have to go through some pain and experience those tricky decisions to become better,” said Bateman. “Last year we had a number of close games where we didn’t quite get a win – or the odd TMO decision that didn’t go our way – but it’s a lot different this season.

“There is a real buzz about this group right now and the lads want to make it about them and not worry about things that they can’t control such as decisions by the ref or things the opposition do. Instead we want to concentrate on our game and look to ram that home each week.”

With fellow No.2 Jack Yeandle sidelined with a back complaint and Elvis Taione having been away with Tonga on international duty in recent weeks, Bateman has made the most of his chance to show Baxter what he can bring to the team.

His second half introduction – along with props Ben Moon and Moray Low – proved a defining moment during last weekend’s home win against Wasps where, for a ten-minute period, the Chiefs were under the cosh with a succession of scrums just five metres from their line.

With home prop Tomas Francis in the sin-bin for persistent infringing, Baxter looked to his fresh forwards to make an impact at a crucial stage. The trio did not disappoint, quelling the Wasps thrust and in turning producing their own spell of pressure that helped to clear the danger.

“We knew they were going to be strong up front and bring a lot of physicality to things,” added Bateman. “But the lads did well, they dug in when they had to and in the end we got a good victory at home and four points that have got us pushing hard at the top.”

This Saturday, though, it doesn’t get any easier as the Chiefs welcome Saracens to Sandy Park for their latest Premiership engagement.

Bateman knows the Londoners will be looking for a response of their own following last Sunday’s home defeat to Northampton, but he believes more of the same from the Chiefs can put them in good stead for the game.

“All we can do is control what is in front of us,” continued the front-row star. “Mummsy [Dean Mumm] is always on top of us about dealing with each week as it comes. At the moment the lads are playing very well and they are thriving on the pitch.

“The system we have in place we all understand and if every week we can concentrate on what we do, then we’ll back ourselves against anyone that we come up against.”
 

Latest News

Matt Hopper: Harlequins ready for Stade Francais cup final

Harlequins are gearing up for a ‘cup final’ when they visit France in the European Rugby Challenge Cup, but centre…

Harlequins v Saracens - Aviva Premiership

Chris Harris desperate to kick on after Newcastle Falcons return

Newcastle Falcons’ narrow European Rugby Challenge Cup loss to Grenoble may have dashed their hopes of making it through to…

Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Gloucester Rugby name side for final European pool game against Bayonne

With a home quarter-final spot resting on the result, Gloucester Rugby make seven changes for the visit of Aviron Bayonnais…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Wasps team to travel to Parma to play Zebre Rugby

Director of Rugby Dai Young has named his squad to travel to Parma, for Wasps’ final match in the Champions…

Wasps v Toulouse - European Rugby Champions Cup

Donncha O’Callaghan to lead Worcester Warriors against Russians

Donncha O’Callaghan will lead Warriors in their final European Challenge Cup game of the 2016/17 campaign against Enisei-STM at Sixways…

Harlequins v Worcester Warriors - Aviva Premiership

Bath Rugby name strong side for final European pool game

Bath Rugby have named a strong team to face Pau in the final pool game of the European Rugby Challenge…

Semesa Rokoduguni

Leicester Tigers team news for Champions Cup

Jack Roberts and Luke Hamilton are recalled to the Leicester Tigers starting line-up for the European Champions Cup fixture against…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Exeter Chiefs side to face ASM Clermont Auvergne

Whether history repeats itself for Exeter Chiefs in the European Champions Cup only time will tell, but head coach Rob…

Michele Campagnaro scored twice in Exeter Chiefs' 31-19 win over Ulster in Round 5.

Bristol Rugby name team for Cardiff Blues clash

Bristol Rugby round off their European Challenge Cup campaign with a visit to Cardiff Blues on Saturday (3pm KO). Head…

tusipisibri16sb1111

Newcastle Falcons team to face Ospreys

Newcastle Falcons have named their team for Saturday’s European Challenge Cup visit of unbeaten group leaders Ospreys, club captain Will…

Will Welch

Saracens name team to face Toulon

Saracens have named their side to face Toulon for Saturday’s round six European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 3 clash at…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Sale Sharks Name Team To Take On Scarlets

Sale Sharks have named their side to take on Scarlets in Round Six of the European Rugby Champions Cup at…

willaddisonbatsal1617sb1111

Harlequins team to play Stade Francais

Harlequins has announced the squad to play Stade Francais in Round 6 of the European Rugby Challenge Cup at the…

James Horwill

Eddie Jones has announced his England squad ahead of the 2017 RBS 6 Nations

The 34-man squad will train in Portugal between 22 – 27 January before assembling at Pennyhill Park to prepare for…

Maro Itoje missed out on the autumn internationals with a fractured hand.

Tom Arscott statement

Sale Sharks have today issued the following statement on Tom Arscott.  Sale Sharks have today terminated the contract of Tom…

BARNET, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 10:  Owen Farrell of Saracens and Tom Arscott of Sale Sharks during the European Rugby Champions Cup match between Saracens and Sale Sharks at Allianz Park on December 10, 2016 in Barnet, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

Jack O’Connell eyeing Bristol Rugby momentum from European finale

Qualification for the European Rugby Challenge Cup knockout stages may be beyond Bristol Rugby but Jack O’Connell claims they are…

666710651_tm_0740_96dd8701c3a7992af96ab9d019ac86f2.jpg

Fixture Change – Wasps v Gloucester Rugby

Premiership Rugby can confirm that the kick-off time for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Round 16 Wasps v Gloucester Rugby fixture…

Aviva Premiership ball

Harlequins Foundation reach £100,000 Great Ormond Street Hospital target

The Harlequins Foundation is today (Thursday 19th January) pleased to announce that it has succeeded in raising £100,000 for Great…

Harlequins celebrate

Northampton Saints team news versus Montpellier

The Northampton Saints team has been announced for Friday’s European Rugby Champions Cup clash with Montpellier. An attacking line-up has…

georgenorthnortbri17sb

Leicester Tigers prove big draw at Welford Road

Leicester Tigers attendances have topped 100,000 over the last four home games at Welford Road. The best-supported team in English…

Adam Thompstone