Belfast Telegraph

Monday 29 December 2014

Hepher wants improvement

Rugby Union
Rugby Union

Exeter assistant coach Ali Hepher has warned his team they will need to raise their standard in Friday's Amlin Challenge Cup clash against Bourgoin.

The Chiefs head to the Stade Pierre Rajon knowing another defeat just six days after suffering a home loss to Montpellier would effectively put them out of quarter-final contention.

"Anyone who knows rugby knows going to France are the toughest games you experience as a player and as a coach," said Hepher.

"It was disappointing against Montpellier as it was a game we really should have won with the team we had out.

"But, ultimately, we didn't do enough things right. We didn't make enough good decisions across the board and we didn't manage the game very well to win it.

"We know we are going to have to buck up, because if we perform like that in Bourgoin we will get blitzed.

"Some guys took their chance and there were definitely some positives out there (against Montpellier), but unfortunately there weren't enough (players) furthering their claims.

"Ideally, we would have liked a lot of boys to be knocking on our door for selection, but we do not have enough at this minute in time."

Exeter's Aviva Premiership colleagues Harlequins and Gloucester should both get their European campaigns back on track on Saturday following bonus-point defeats in France last weekend. Quins, beaten in Bayonne, entertain tournament newcomers Cavalieri Estra, while Gloucester can take out the frustration of an injury-time loss to Agen on Kingsholm visitors Rovigo.

Sale Sharks also face Italian opposition on Saturday in the form of Pool Two opponents Petrarca, while Brive meet Cetransa El Salvador, Bucharest host Crociati and La Rochelle tackle Agen.

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