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Preview: Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons

Preview: Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons

Exeter boss Rob Baxter has called on the Chiefs to return to winning ways this weekend as they look to bounce back from last week’s disappointment against the Leicester Tigers.

The second-placed Chiefs host struggling Newcastle Falcons and Baxter has called on his men to dig out a much-needed win and keep the pressure on league leaders Saracens. 

Exeter Chiefs have scored more tries than any other side in Aviva Premiership Rugby this season and have only
once failed to secure a league point from one match in the competition since April 2014.

But despite all of the statistics pointing to a comfortable Exeter win against strugglers Newcastle; Baxter is called on his not to be complacent. 

"One of the best performances we have put in this season was away at Newcastle – we were absolutely full on that day," said Baxter.

"We were utterly focussed and I am expecting us to hit Sandy Park at a similar level this Saturday.

“We have to show energy and accuracy and I am expecting that to be there in bucket loads at the weekend.

"If we get everything right we are a very good side, but if you take a win for granted then that becomes a weakness.

"Having a strong home record is an advantage because we know how to prepare and the qualities we need to show up with.

"The important thing is to not take it for granted and fully respect Newcastle. They have put together some decent results – they are not floundering and unable to win games of rugby.

"They are capable of winning and they are not bottom of the league – they are in there fighting among an extended bunch of teams. We have to respect them, the Premiership and the need to perform well."

Newcastle Falcons have slipped to successive defeats, at Gloucester and at home to Worcester and are nervously looking over their shoulders again.

Falcons, along with London Irish are the only side yet to have won on the road in Aviva Premiership Rugby this season but Newcastle will be hoping that all changes this weekend.

The two clubs have met on nine previous occasions in Premiership Rugby with Newcastle's only victory being 29-24 at Kingston Park in October 2014.

The Falcons have been defeated in all six previous visits to Sandy Park in all tournaments.

Newcastle boss Dean Richards, who was fuming after last weekend’s showing against Worcester, has called on his Falcons to dig deep in the West Country.

Richard said: “It was a pretty poor game all-round between two sides that looked as if they were trying to lose the
game rather than win it.

“Worcester showed a little bit more accuracy than we did, and I thought we played at about 50 to 60 percent of our capability.

“It comes down to our accuracy in executing things, and we didn’t show that.

“It is just a bit frustrating that we weren’t playing to our potential. That is the annoying thing, you want the boys to play to their capability and we didn’t do that.

“But the players will reflect on it, they are pretty good at driving that themselves and they will be pretty disappointed by that performance.

“You have got to look up, and the most disappointing thing is that this was a chance to close in on the teams above us.

“The boys have played well for most of the last six or seven weeks, and it is just about getting back on that horse, getting the intensity back.”

Sandy Park, 3pm

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys(14th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Simon McConnell & Kelvin Stewart. TMO: David Rose.

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