Exeter Chiefs director of rugby Rob Baxter is hoping history doesn’t repeat itself when he takes his immaculate Heineken Champions Cup Pool 2 leaders to Sale Sharks on Sunday in the first of successive games against their English rivals.
When the Chiefs, who have taken maximum points from the first two rounds of this year’s competition, took on Gloucester Rugby in the first of the back-to-backs last year, they lost 27-19 at home.
“Heading into this Christmas double-header, I’ll remind the lads – and I don’t mind talking about the poor things – what happened when we played Gloucester in Europe this time last year,” Baxter told the club website.
“We let ourselves down in that first game, but then fought back well in the second. This time round I’d like to see us pour everything into that first game and not make the same mistakes of that first game.
Feast your eyes on all of the spicy match-ups ahead of Round 3️⃣ of the #HeinekenChampionsCup 😍
Some absolute belters in store for you all this weekend… 🔥🔥🔥
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“Last year we kind of beat ourselves in that first game. We got flustered and made a series of poor decisions. This time round, we have to make sure that is not in our minds next week.
“It’s going to be a tough game, Sale are playing well, they’ve got a lot of quality players and they look a difficult bunch to beat. Having said that, things are in our hands. We too look tough to beat, we’re obviously on form and we have good players, so let’s see what we can achieve.”
You can watch Sale Sharks v Exeter Chiefs, live on BT Sport and beIN SPORTS on Sunday from 15:15 GMT.