Olly Woodburn has happy memories of tackling Worcester Warriors at Sandy Park and he’s hoping for more of the same when Exeter Chiefs play host to the Midlanders again tomorrow in the Aviva Premiership (4:30pm).
Back in April Woodburn produced a man of the match display, scoring a hat-trick of tries, as Rob Baxter’s side dispatched of the Warriors 50-12.
It was one of the many highlights the 25-year-old winger produced during an outstanding first season in Devon that yielded eight tries in 24 appearances following his summer move from local rivals Bath Rugby.
This season Woodburn has continued to flourish in Exeter colours, scoring three tries in nine starts, and helping to form part of an exciting attacking unit that has helped the Chiefs to fifth in the current standings.
“This week has felt good, especially after the win at Newcastle last week, training has had a quick feel to it and we look like we’re on top of things,” said Woodburn. “We’re all excited for the weekend and looking forward to getting out there.”
With the Chiefs returning to winning ways in the North East a week ago, the Keynsham-born back is hoping he and his team-mates can continue their winning ways against a Warriors side that have won just once in the Premiership this season.
— Exeter Chiefs (@ExeterChiefs) November 25, 2016
On paper Baxter’s side will head into the contest as firm favourites, not just because of form and current league position, but also because Worcester have yet to beat the Chiefs in the top flight in eight previous attempts.
However, Woodburn refuses to take tomorrow’s opponents lightly, warning that the Chiefs will need to be on top form to get anything from the contest.
“Any game at this level is always tough, so we won’t be taking Worcester for granted,” he said. “They are a good side and we have to be ready to cope with what they throw at us. Obviously last week’s win has given us some confidence and it will be nice to back that up with another big performance this weekend.
“Right now we’re taking things one week at a time and seeing where it takes us. If we can win our home games and then pick up a few on the road as well, then I’m sure things will start to look good towards the end of the season.”
Certainly last week’s win at the Falcons was a step in the right direction, particularly as the Chiefs had been undone at the death by Bath in their last Premiership encounter.
“Losing in the last few seconds of the Bath game was painful,” admitted Woodburn. “It was tough to take, but in professional sport it’s good to use that disappointment as a motivator for the next game and I think that’s what we did last week.
“Right now we’re fifth in the table, which is not too bad, but at times it’s felt a lot worse just because we haven’t been getting the results we wanted. We have come away from certain games on the wrong side of the scoreboard, especially here at home, and that’s been disappointing.
Last season we were very strong at home and that’s an area we want to get back to.
“In recent weeks’ we’ve looked at a few things and looked to address one or two areas and I think it’s worked well. We used the Anglo-Welsh Cup as a chance to refocus as a group and the performances in that competition gave us the inspiration to take into the Premiership.
“Now we want to build on that and take our performance onto that next level.”