Dowson says Sandy Park league win means nothing as Saints prepare for cup final at Exeter

CUP FINAL CHALLENGE - Phil Dowson (Picture: Linda Dawson)
CUP FINAL CHALLENGE - Phil Dowson (Picture: Linda Dawson)

Phil Dowson says Saints’ victory at Exeter last month will have no bearing on the outcome of Sunday’s LV= Cup final showdown at Sandy Park.

Jim Mallinder’s men claimed a last-gasp Aviva Premiership win in the west country on February 8 thanks to a late George Pisi try and Stephen Myler conversion.

The two teams will lock horns once again this weekend, hoping to secure the season’s first piece of silverware.

And Dowson in looking forward rather than back as he prepares for what promises to be another titanic tussle.

“This is a completely different entity,” said the experienced flanker.

“They’re at home and in a final and the games beforehand don’t really have much of a say.

“We need to make sure we learned the lessons from last time, but it doesn’t give us any advantage having played there recently.”

Saints, who have won their last 13 games in all competitions, are refusing to rest on their laurels ahead of this weekend’s clash.

And they are doing as much analysis as possible as they look to see off Exeter, who claimed a fine win at Bath in last Sunday’s semi-final.

“We’ve been watching their game over and over again this week,” said Dowson.

“We’ve seen all those scrums and those lineouts again and again.

“Our league game there was quite recent so a lot of their patterns are the same and a lot of their players are very similar.

“It always pays dividends to see what they’re doing now because the game changes week in, week out but, in general, we know what they’re all about.”