Head Coach Jonathan Thomas spoke to the media today ahead of Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership match against Leicester Tigers at Sixways (kick-off 3.00pm).
Here’s what Jonathan had to say:
On the performance at Exeter
- The final scoreline was disappointing but, when you look at the game, there were a number of opportunities that we created in the first 25 minutes.
- We made four entries into their Red Zone and three or four line breaks but we made handling errors, passes didn’t stick or we turned over possession.
- Sandy Park is always a difficult place to go and when you play against a side like Exeter away from home you have to take your opportunities.
- Exeter also turned over ball as well but they are a side that has been together for a long time, they know each other well and they worked hard within their systems.
- We had a lot of new combinations and new players out there and after we had conceded a couple of tries we became a little ragged and started to play as individuals and we didn’t stay within our systems..
- We were very honest with the players in the review. It wasn’t a lack of effort, it was a lack of teamship. That is something that we have to work hard on.
On facing Leicester
- They are a confident team. They have some good players, a big pack, a good kicking game and two big wings.
- They have worked hard on getting the fundamentals of their game right.
On Duhan van der Merwe and Rory Sutherland’s debuts at Exeter
- The biggest thing is that they got a hit out. They have only been with us for three weeks or so, so they are trying to get back up to speed after a break following the South Africa tour.
- It’s important that they get game time. They are both quality players and they will get better as the weeks go on.
- Noah Heward has a tight quad and is going to have a scan.
- Willi Heinz took a little bit of a knock at Exeter.
- Duhan van der Merwe and Rory Sutherland both tightened up a bit at Exeter so we took them off but they will be fine this weekend.
- Jamie Shillcock took a bang to a knee.
- Kyle Hatherell came off with a head injury at Exeter. He’s going through his HIA protocols at the moment but it looks promising for the weekend.
- Chris Ashton was on course to be involved last week but suffered a bit of a hiccup in training last Wednesday but he trained today.