Back under pressure as Leeds look up at new boys
Saturday 20 November 2010
Neil Back accepts his Leeds Carnegie team face a "sizeable challenge" today in their quest to start climbing away from Premiership relegation danger.
Leeds visit the Premiership newcomers Exeter, who are already 12 points above their hosts almost a third of the way through the league campaign. While Exeter have accounted for Gloucester, Newcastle and Saracens since arriving in English rugby's top flight, Leeds can reflect on collecting just two losing bonus points from seven games.
They are in grave danger of being cut adrift at the Premiership basement, but head coach Back remains upbeat. "Unlike most teams in the Premiership we have obviously played at Sandy Park, so it will not come as a shock to our guys," the former England flanker said. "We have to make sure that we arrive there with the right mentality and ready to take them on. It is a sizeable challenge, but we will be going there aiming to get our first win of the Premiership season.
"I think Exeter have done an outstanding job so far this season, but that has not surprised me. They obviously concentrate on getting the basics right, which is key to any successful team, and they have shown that they deserve their place in the Premiership."
The Exeter head coach, Rob Baxter, will face Leeds for the 14th time as a player and coach, and as with so many of those previous encounters, he knows there is a lot at stake. "Our paths have crossed regularly over the years, and we know it is going to be a tough game," said Baxter. "We know Leeds are targeting this game almost as a must-win for them. For us, it's about hitting the pitch in the right physical condition, but also getting the mentality of how we want to play right.
"We've got to go out there and play like it's a do-or-die, must-win game for us. If we get that mentality right, everything else will look after itself."
London Irish, unbeaten in the league since September, resume action away to Wasps tomorrow following two LV Cup defeats. But the Exiles' head coach, Toby Booth, said: "There has been a different buzz in training this week. We are refreshed and excited to be getting back to the Premiership."
Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao start?
Arsenal transfer targets: The summer signings that would please Thierry Henry, including Sami Khedira and Edinson Cavani
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: What time does it start and where can I watch it?
Thierry Henry 'singles out' Mesut Ozil, picking up on the Arsenal midfielder's embarrassing stats
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 The confessions of men who ordered mail-order brides
- 3 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
- 5 'Isis' schoolgirls: Missing British teenager tweets picture of her Syrian takeaway
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding