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Cowan-Dickie: Festive period vital for Exeter Chiefs

Exeter Chiefs hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie is desperate for his side to continue their Aviva Premiership Rugby form against Sale Sharks, going into what could be the defining weeks of their season.

Rob Baxter’s men sit third in the table having won their last eight matches in all competitions, and are unbeaten in Aviva Premiership Rugby since Round 5’s upset by Newcastle Falcons.

Exeter enjoyed an historic LV= Cup triumph last year but could not make the Aviva Premiership Rugby play-offs, and Cowan-Dickie is confident they can do even better this time around.

With his side sitting pretty in Europe and the LV= Cup as well as the league standings this term, the 21-year-old admitted the coming weeks were the most important so far if Chiefs are to record their best ever season.

“We’ve been talking all week about getting a good start going back into the Premiership after two weeks away from it,” he said.

“We set ourselves targets for each block of games and some of the boys have now come back fresh having had some time off.

“The last block was massive but where we are in the table now, this block is so important to try and stick where we are in the table and going into the back-end of the season it could be our best ever position.

“So it is a massive point in the year for us, but we are just looking at Sale now and concentrating on that game.

“It’s going to be one of the biggest games of the season and hopefully we can get back on the same form as we have been.

“We don’t really look at how many games we’ve won in a row, and these guys beat us quite comfortably last year which plays on the back of your mind.

“They pride themselves on their fitness and work rate and we are going to try and take them head on from that respect and come away with a good result.”

Exeter were humbled the last time the sides met in April, with Sale storming out of the traps at Sandy Park to win 55-12 in an eight-try mauling.

But with that result still fresh in the memory, Cowan-Dickie insisted Friday’s trip to the AJ Bell stadium would not be a revenge mission.

He said: “We’re not going there looking to get them back, we just want to put our game on top of theirs.

“You never want to lose at home as it’s not good for the team or the fans, let alone losing like that and by that number of points.

“Fair play to them they came and got on top of us, and before we knew it they were 40 points ahead.

“We want to go out and improve from then and get a better result this time around. But we won’t know until we get there and we’re in the game.”

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