After four pulsating rounds of group fixtures and a pair of thrilling semi-finals, the curtain is set to come down on another memorable LV= Cup campaign when Saracens face off with Exeter Chiefs on Sunday – and Juan Figallo admits it will be a unique occasion.
Sarries go into the Franklin’s Gardens showpiece boasting a 100 percent record in this year’s tournament, while the Chiefs are looking to retain the trophy they won in such historic circumstances 12 months ago.
The two sides are also enjoying successful seasons in Aviva Premiership Rugby, with both currently occupying a top four spot as the league campaign approaches its home straight.
But the formbook will go out the window this weekend, and Saracens prop Figallo insists it is set to be a one-off event as the clubs compete for the first major silverware of the year.
“This is not like any other game – it is a final, and we are preparing for it that way,” the Argentina international said.
“The mentality is different for knockout rugby. We work on different things in training, and we’ve done a lot of work looking at Exeter and how they play.
“We know our place and what we have to do to beat them on Sunday, and we just want to bring all the energy we can into the final.
“It is going to be really tough. We saw how they played against Leicester in the semi-final victory, and it will be a big battle in the scrum.
“They are a really good team, so we are focused and the main thing is concentrating on what we can do with the ball.”
Mark McCall’s men got the better of Rob Baxter’s Exeter outfit during the LV= Cup pool stages, running in five tries to record a 35-18 home victory that maintained their unblemished run in the competition.
And while Ben White admits revenge will be a motivating factor ahead of Sunday’s clash, it is the experience of last year’s momentous Sandy Park success – Exeter’s first piece of major silverware in their 143-year history – that the Chiefs back rower hopes will prove decisive.
“We’ve got a few boys who know how to win a final which is good, but it’s going to be a completely different game when we play on Sunday,” he said.
“I’m feeling really excited for the occasion. We’ve performed really well in the cup as a squad, and as a team we’re really up for the challenge.
“We want to get one back on Saracens and we really want to rectify the mistakes of the last game to get it right in the final – that’s the important thing.
“We’re just going to attack from the start and give it 100 percent throughout the game. You don’t want to be coming out of the match asking ‘what if’ and thinking you could have done more.
“If we play how we want to play then there will be no need to do that.”