Jack Yeandle believes Exeter Chiefs will need to replicate their defensive showing from the weekend for the whole 80 minutes when they travel to Leicester Tigers in the Aviva Premiership on Friday night (7:45pm).
Having turned round 17-14 up against Newcastle Falcons on Saturday, Rob Baxter’s side produced a solid defensive display at the break to wrap up a 36-14 success that lifted them to second in the current standings.
Yeandle insists hard work put in on the training ground, coupled with a few half time tweaks by the coaching staff, proved key in them clocking up their latest success at Sandy Park.
“We’ve had a few games in recent weeks where we’ve been guilty of leaking a few points,” said the club captain. “All week it had been a big work on for us and we spoke again at half time about one of two areas.
As a group we really lifted our chat a lot in the second half at it came up trumps.”
Now, the Chiefs will need to replicate that same miserly kind of display against the Tigers, who themselves are pressing hard to ensure they are part of the play-off picture come the end of the season.
“Saturday was a good win for us,” added Yeandle. “Newcastle had come here in a rich vein of form and attacking wise they have been a real threat for a lot of teams, so to not let them score any points in the second half was a real bonus for us.
“Leicester, we know, will be another tough test for us. At home they are always very strong, so we’re going to have be at our very best again, not just in the second half like this week, but for the whole 80 minutes up there.”
The Chiefs showed, however, they have the fight within them to succeed and this was underlined during the first half against the Falcons where, after a six-minute spell of ball in play time, they were rewarded with a stunning, length of the field try for in-form winger James Short.
“It was tough out there, but we had said in the week that we would have to run our socks off to push them to the limit and get our rewards,” said the all-action hooker. “That period in the first half there was a lot of multi-phases rugby, lots of lengths up and down the pitch, but we were willing to work hard throughout and in the end we were rewarded with the try.”
More of the same will be needed this Friday at Welford Road, a venue where the Chiefs have only won once in the Premiership.