Rob Baxter admits his side have struggled to hit top form in recent weeks
Baxter admits his side have struggled to hit top form in recent weeks, but feels a remedy is close at hand, starting with a big performance in tonight’s Round Four encounter against Gloucester.
“First and foremost, we didn’t play well enough last week,” Baxter told the clubs website. “Some of the stuff we’ve addressed is whether we got up to the intensity we needed to be at over the course of those games coming out of the Premiership Rugby Cup.
“We’ve had a good look at it, we’ve talked to the players about it, and I am not sure whether we were waiting for the Heineken Cup to come round a little bit, without really going after those Premiership games and practicing being right at the level we need to be for the Heineken Cup.
“It’s a really difficult balance and it’s not something yet we have got right as results are showing that. However, we do feel we are getting there and adjusting to situations as we go along.Sometimes, though, it’s the first time you deal with things where you learn the most.
“It’s the first time that we’ve had to deal with seven internationals being away and coming back just before the Heineken Cup period. It’s the first time we’ve chosen through that three-week period to talk about some of our preparation about getting ready for the Heineken Cup."
CHIEFS SIDE TO FACE GLOUCESTER
15 Joe Simmonds 14 Santiago Cordero 13 Ian Whitten 12 Sam Hill 11 Tom O’Flaherty 10 Gareth Steenson 9 Jack Maunder 1 Alec Hepburn 2 Jack Yeandle (capt) 3 Tomas Francis 4 Dave Dennis 5 Sam Skinner 6 Sean Lonsdale 7 Don Armand 8 Tom Lawday
16 Elvis Taione 17 Ben Moon 18 Harry Williams 19 Mitch Lees 20 Wilhelm Van der Sluys 21 Sam Maunder 22 Ollie Devoto 23 Phil Dollman