Head Coach Jonathan Thomas spoke to the media today ahead of Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership match at Wasps (kick-off 3.00pm).
Here’s what Jonathan had to say:
On the Exeter performance
- The scoreline didn’t reflect the game. Our set piece was good in the first half, we dominated the aerial exchanges, and we played a good tactical game.
- The eight points we conceded in the first half were cheap points and what cost us in the second half was discipline. When you concede penalties it gives Exeter possession and that takes its toll.
What targets have you set for the rest of the season?
- This season has been about growth. No-one likes to participate in a season where you are losing.
- It has been tough but we know that we are in a rebuilding phase and we are going through some pain at the moment. We have taken a step back to go forward.
- We know that, in the medium and long terms, we going in the right direction and the future is positive.
- In the short term we would like to be winning games but we are seeing growth in our game and in the development of our young players who are being exposed to Premiership rugby at an early age.
What challenges do Wasps pose?
- They are a team with good athletes. They like the game to be loose and unstructured.
- The scoreline from their game against Harlequins on Sunday was phenomenal and shows that both those clubs can score some fantastic tries if the game becomes unstructured and they have the players to do so.
- But it also shows that can also concede tries. We have guys who are also good in open play but it’s important against a side like Wasps that the game is structured.
Is there any reason why the club would not move the Wasps match to midweek?
- We had notified the players some time before Wasps approached us that they would have the week beginning May 17 off.
- Many of them had already made plans for that week and so we felt that we could not meet Wasps’ request.
- We had also notified the RPA that it would be a down week for the players which is something they need at a time when we will have played more than a season-and-a-third inside ten months.
- Duncan Weir is back training this week. He’s running round like an 18-year-old and he’s brought great energy to our sessions. But he’s been out for a long term so we will not rush him back.
- Nick Schonert has an inflamed bursa and we will make a decision on him later in the week.
- Noah Heward is back in training and he could be in contention for the Leicester match.
- Melani Nanai is back training again and there is a possibility he might be back for the last game against Gloucester.
- Beck Cutting is still out with an ankle injury but he could be back for the Leicester match.