Exeter Chiefs must use their impressive win over Leicester Tigers last weekend as the springboard for another big performance ahead of Saturday’s trip to rivals Wasps in the Gallagher Premiership (2pm).
That’s the view of Chiefs lock Sam Skinner ahead of another mouth-watering fixture for him and his team-mates at the Ricoh Arena.
Skinner played a key role in helping the Devon club kick-off their new campaign on a winning note, defeating the Tigers 40-6 with a six-try success at Sandy Park.
Now, the 23-year-old will be hoping for more of the same against Dai Young’s side, who themselves picked up four points from their trip to Worcester Warriors in Round One.
“We’re really happy with our start,” said Skinner. “We had a good pre-season, everybody worked hard, and we knew going into the game last week that we’re in pretty good shape. The first half was particularly tough, it was attritional and we had to work hard, but we slowly began to grind them down and we got our rewards later in the game.”
Having trailed to two George Ford penalties in the opening half-hour, Rob Baxter’s side hit back with tries from Olly Woodburn and Sam Simmonds to lead 14-6 at the turn.
Further tries from Luke Cowan-Dickie, Matt Kvesic, Ian Whitten and Henry Slade, the latter of which Skinner helped to set up, put the seal on a polished performance from the Chiefs.
“Everyone knows Leicester are a great side and some of the individual quality they have within their squad is top class,” added Skinner. “But we came through well with a big performance and it’s given us really confidence before going to Wasps this weekend.”
Indeed, the Chiefs will again need to be on top of their game at a venue where they have only ever won once before.
Skinner knows the threat posed by the Midlanders, saying: “Like us, they got off to a winning start last week with an away with at Worcester. We know they are a dangerous side, who like to play champagne rugby, so we need to make it about us and bring what we want to the game.
“It’s going to be a tough challenge, but you can say that every week in the Premiership. What we have to do is put our best foot forward and do what we can to make sure we get the result we want.”
The Chiefs will have to make changes to their winning formula with winger Olly Woodburn sidelined with a broken jaw and scrum-half Nic White highly doubtful with a foot injury. On the plus side, Director of Rugby Baxter has been heartened by the sight of a number of other players - including summer signing Alex Cuthbert - returning to full fitness this week.