Celebrating Europe, Tasting The Play-Offs

Celebrating Europe, Tasting The Play-Offs

Soon after we got back in the changing room after our thrilling late win over Worcester, word started getting round of the position we now find ourselves in.

With Northampton losing to Leicester and us picking up a bonus point at Sixways, we knew that any sort of win over the Saints at Sandy Park this Sunday would put us in the box seat for a place in the play-offs.

For an Exeter club in just its second year in the Aviva Premiership, that is some achievement.

And whatever happens from here on in, we are guaranteed a place in next season’s Heineken Cup already.

As you can imagine, the atmosphere at the club this week is buzzing.

Sponsors, the board and the supporters have been celebrating a place in Europe’s biggest competition next season and, along with the players, they are already looking forward to the biggest game of the season against Northampton at what I am certain will be a sold out Sandy Park.

All year, we have been careful not to look too far ahead in the season and just been trying to complete that old sportsman’s cliché of taking one game at a time.

But it would churlish not to admit that we can now taste the play-offs because they are a serious possibility – and a possibility that is on our own hands to achieve.

We’ve still got a massive challenge coming in the form of a Northampton side that will be gunning for us. Defeat for them and their season will probably be deemed a failure.

But there is no reason why we can’t win it. We back ourselves in front of our own fans and we have been playing some good rugby recently.

We also have experience of big games at the end of the season after out time in the Championship and we also tend to do very well when going into games as underdogs.

All of the boys are excited and we will be seriously up for it.

There will be a lot of analysis done this week and we will manage our workload accordingly. It has been a long season for some of the guys.

But you will be surprised how much adrenalin can play a part when it’s time for kick-off. Any aches or pains soon leave you when you are standing there waiting for the whistle to blow.

This is going to be a huge game of rugby.

Read more from Chris Whitehead.

Read our Exeter Chiefs page for information on Sandy Park, Exeter Chiefs news and links to buy match tickets.


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