Kai Horstmann insists he and his Exeter Chiefs team-mates will use the disappointment of last weekend’s home defeat to Bordeaux Begles as the ideal motivation ahead of tomorrow’s latest European match-up in the Champions Cup (2pm).
Undone 13-7 by the Frenchman at Sandy Park last Sunday, the two clubs lock horns once more in Round 4 of the competition at the Stade Chaban Delmas.
Having suffered three defeats in as many games so far this season, it’s hardly been the European campaign Rob Baxter’s team would have envisaged when they set out in the opening fixture back in October.
That said, two of those three defeats could easily have gone the way of the Chiefs, and it’s that mind-set Horstmann believes the Chiefs must use as they look to target only their second ever win on French soil.
“You don’t often play a team back-to-back, so it’s an opportunity this weekend to try and put right the disappointment of last weekend,” said the 35-year-old. “We didn’t get what we wanted out of last week’s game, so it’s a chance now to go away to a different country and put in a good performance.
“We know from past experience that travelling to France is always tough, plus Bordeaux are right in amongst it in terms of qualification from the pool, so we respect that, but we also know what it takes to win over there.
“We went over there last year and narrowly lost out, so I think as a group we’re all pretty eager to put in a good performance.”
Bordeaux’s success on Devon soil a week ago ended a four-game winning streak for the Chiefs and Horstmann says it’s vital the Premiership outfit look to regain some momentum ahead of a big league programme, which includes clashes with Leicester Tigers, Bath and Saracens in as many weeks.
“As players’ we are solely focused on this weekend,” added Horstmann. “I’m sure the coaches look a little further down the line, but for now we just want to focus on Bordeaux and delivering a good performance over there.
“Our form recently has been very good and although we didn’t win last week, we know a lot of what we did was positive. Looking at the stats this week they were right up there, as were a lot of other things, it was just that clinical edge in the final part.
“In fairness that has been a strength in recent weeks, so that was frustrating, and I know conditions were tough. However, I think we need to be a little bit tougher on ourselves and that’s something we have discussed throughout the course of this week.
“Playing at this level you have to take your chances when they come along. Each year we strive to be in this competition and work very hard to get there, so to get the results we have had so far has left a bit of a bitter taste. However, we’ve got three more games, starting on the weekend, to show what we are all about.”