Saints coach Dickens plays down home advantage for Exeter in LV= Cup Final

WINNING HISTORY - George Pisi is congratulated on his late try that helped seal the Aviva Premiership win at Exeter last month (Picture: Linda Dawson)
WINNING HISTORY - George Pisi is congratulated on his late try that helped seal the Aviva Premiership win at Exeter last month (Picture: Linda Dawson)
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Saints assistant coach Alan Dickens refuses to read too much into Exeter having home advantage in Sunday’s LV= Cup final.

Instead, he feels a fervent Sandy Park crowd will simply add to the occasion as Northampton aim to secure their first trophy since 2010.

Saints won 17-16 at the same ground in the Aviva Premiership last month, with George Pisi scoring a late try to help secure the success.

They return to the west country this weekend, backed by more than 1,800 fans, knowing Exeter are desperate to claim the silverware in one of the biggest games in their history.

And Dickens said: “It will be tough and people have spoken about it being at their home ground, but that will add to the atmosphere.

“It’s a good place to go, with their Native American chants, and our supporters going down at the weekend will add to the occasion.

“Wherever you play it’s going to be tough because it’s a final and both teams have performed well in this competition this year. It is what it is.”

Dickens was in the squad the last time Saints won the LV= Cup, but failed to make it off the bench in the final against Gloucester at Sixways in 2010.

Still, he was able to sample what turned out to be a special occasion and memories of that day remain fresh in the mind.

“It was a great day,” he said. “One of my overriding memories of that was Soane Tonga’uiha breaking from our five-metre line, running 80 metres and just getting hauled down.

“It was a good day, a tough team to play against, Gloucester, at the time.

“It was high scoring and a domestic trophy that we won.

“To get to finals is tough, we’re there again now, we want to go for it and we want to enjoy it.

“I don’t think there are favourites in this one. We’ll just get to Sunday and go from there.”