Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Back expecting tough encounter

Neil Back accepts his Leeds Carnegie team face a "sizeable challenge" on Saturday in their quest to start climbing away from Aviva Premiership relegation danger.

Leeds visit Premiership newcomers Exeter, who are already 12 points above their hosts almost a third of the way through the league campaign.

"Unlike most teams in the Premiership we have obviously played at Sandy Park, so it will not come as a shock to our guys," said the former England flanker. "We have to make sure that we arrive there with the right mentality and ready to take them on."

He added: "It is a sizeable challenge, but we will be going there aiming to get our first win of the Premiership season.

"I think Exeter have done an outstanding job so far this season, but that has not surprised me.

"They obviously concentrate on getting the basics of the game right, which is key to any successful team, and they have shown that they deserve their place in the Premiership."

Exeter boss Rob Baxter will oppose Leeds for the 14th time as a player and coach, and as with so many of those previous encounters, he knows there is again a lot at stake.

"Our paths have crossed regularly over the years, and we know it is going to be a tough game," said Baxter.

"We know Leeds are targeting this game almost as a must-win for them. For us, it's about hitting the pitch in the right physical condition, but also getting the mentality of how we want to play right.

"We've got to go out there and play like it's a do-or-die, must-win game for us. If we get that mentality right, everything else will look after itself."

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph