Exeter Chiefs centre Jason Shoemark has got his sights firmly set on revenge as they travel to the AJ Bell Stadium to face Sale Sharks in the Aviva Premiership on Friday.
The Chiefs’ previous trip to face Sale ended in a 21-16 defeat back in February as part of a run of five Aviva Premiership games Exeter went without a win last season.
That success for the Sharks was their first ever victory over the Chiefs, who arrive at the AJ Bell Stadium fourth in the table after last weekend’s win over Worcester Warriors.
Exeter have also only lost once in their last six Aviva Premiership away encounters and centre Shoemark admits last season’s defeat to Sale will be driving them on.
“The game just gone and the one coming up are crucial,” said Shoemark. “We wanted to bang in a win and hopefully that gives us the chance to go up to Sale and correct a few wrongs from last year.
“They’ve been going well this year, so it is going to be a massive game. As we know it is always hard to go away in this competition, but we feel like we probably should have won that game.
“It hurt us a little bit. It will be a massive game this week, make no bones about it, but hopefully we’re up for the challenge.”
Sale’s three-game winning run in all competitions was ended by Harlequins in the Aviva Premiership last time out but they have only lost once at the AJ Bell Stadium since February.
And, despite admitting to be impressed by Exeter’s start to the season, prop Eifion Lewis-Roberts is confident that the Sharks can continue to dominate on their own turf.
“Our defence is going to be tested again and we will have to front up in that area to be up for the challenge at home but hopefully we will come out on top, said Lewis-Roberts.
“I think it is more about our performance than anyone we are playing, so we concentrate on what we are doing.
“We tweak our preparation as it comes and they are up in the top four at the minute so we are looking to knock them out of there.
“It is a big game and we are looking forward to the challenge. I have been impressed by Exeter so far, they have been a strong team who play for each other so it is going to be a tough game.”
AJ Bell Stadium (8pm)
Referee: Wayne Barnes (127th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Paul Burton & Paul Dix. TMO: Trevor Fisher.