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Exeter v Bath Play Off Match thread
By Shipwrecked
October 7 2020


Hoops

What do we need to do to be Exeter Chiefs in the Play Off Semi. 

Front Five. 

We have absolutely no problem dominating teams upfront and have done so on several occasions this season, what we need to do now is dominate for the full 80 minutes as often for the last quarter we have struggled to produce the same form for as the previous 60 minutes. Lets hope we have learnt that from the Sarries game. 

Back Row 

Absolutely critical that our back row turn in a storming performance. We need to win both the breakdown and the tackle. With Underhill and a resurgent Faletau we can compete with any team in the tackle so no problem there. Our problem might lie with with the breakdown consistency. In that respect we miss Francois Louw badly but Ellis and Baylis are not far behind. 

Ball Carrying 

Exeter are proven experts and are extremely good at battering away at defences with their ball carriers charging forward particularly when they are 10 yards from the try line. 
We need to do exactly the same to them and put them on the defensive. Once again we tend to fade in the last quarter so I would hope that our selection would bring some fresh for carers to see the game through to the end. 

Line Outs 

We may have the best two teams in the Premiership at Line out technique and the subsequent driving maul. Luke Charteris has worked wonders in this respect. We know of Exeter’s expertise here but at least we have the same attacking weapon as our opponents. 

Defence 

We have seen our defence climb ever upwards since the breakdown with speed, ferocity and aggression being major strengths. If ever we need a repeat performance it will be at Sandy Park where we will face persistent waves of forward pressure. Given previous performances I feel confident that we can hold our own in this respect. 

Discipline 

Tight semi-final games are won and lost on yellow and even red cards in the Sarries game we gave away far too many penalties in the second half. We need to avoid those scrum penalties but the one area where the game could hinge for both teams crashing forward for glory is the high tackle. 

Our tackling has been excellent and few penalties have been conceded from high tackles. However, one yellow card or a red card could easily settle the game we have to ensure that it's not us that gives away the dreaded card sanction. 

Conversely it's not inconceivable that Exeter Chiefs might also fail in that respect in the current game where we can expect a close battle this could be a defining factor. 

Half Backs 

Several top pundits have described Ben Spencer's signing from Saracens that's the best piece of business in the premiership this year. It's very hard to dispute this and we now have a half back pairing that are strong at kicking both on from hand and off the tee. This has won us several games already however there is a concern that our Ben is having issues towards the end of the game with both his fitness and focus. 
You have to wonder if Will Chudleigh might be brought on towards the end of the game given its against his old club though opinions will be divided on this. 

Outside Backs 

If ever there is an opportunity to shine for our talented back line it has to be in the semi-final, my feeling is that Cameron Redpath should play a big role in this game, much as I love Josh Matevesi I think that Redpath is the player to release the undoubted talent we have outside in Jonathan Joseph, Anthony Watson and Ruaridh McConnochie. 

If ever we want Ruaridh to be at his try poaching best it will be in this game. 

We have no idea who will come out on top in this battle, it has been seen as a David and Goliath confrontation that's not really how I see it it is more of an a Ali v Foreman battle with both teams expecting to take a pounding on the ropes at times. However, we should always remember that the outcome of that particular match up went to the guy who spent a long time on the ropes. 

Everyone who supports Bath is looking for a similar result. It only remains to say one thing. COYB!