Weekend preview: Chiefs know repeat win will boost play-off hopes

 

Exeter take an unbeaten seven-game run into today's West Country derby at Gloucester knowing that a repeat of last season's dramatic victory could take them into the Premiership title play-off places. The Chiefs are sixth in the table, one place below Gloucester, but only five points behind leaders Harlequins.

"We've faced some big challenges already this season and thrived on them, but going to Kingsholm at Christmas time in a local derby is what it's all about, really," said the Exeter coach, Rob Baxter (right), yesterday.

Saracens rest their England international backs Alex Goode and Brad Barritt for today's trip to Bath, who welcome back hooker Lee Mears from suspension.

The leaders Harlequins travel to third-placed Northampton, just a week after Saints defeated Heineken Cup contenders Ulster 10-9. "We enjoyed that result, but all the chat in the dressing room was about taking the momentum into the Harlequins game," said Saints' rugby director, Jim Mallinder. "This has been reflected in the attitude in training, which has been intense and positive. Quins will pose plenty of challenges."

London Irish, just six points off the bottom, face a tough task at home to Leicester, who will be buoyed by a fit-again Toby Flood, while the full-back Geordan Murphy also returns from injury for his 200th Premiership game.

"We have got about six or seven home games to go and that is where we need to start delivering if we are to move up the table," said Irish's former Leicester fly-half Ian Humphreys. "We have underachieved if you look at our squad. On paper, our strongest team is pretty strong and there have been glimpses of what we can do in games. Now we have to start doing it for 80 minutes and not just here and there."

In tomorrow's Premiership action bottom club Sale go to Wasps, having lost nine out of 10 league games this season. The former England fly-half Danny Cipriani is not in Sale's squad.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee