West happy with Saints’ reaction ahead of Exeter showdown

Dorian West (picture: Sharon Lucey)
Dorian West (picture: Sharon Lucey)

Dorian West says he is ‘really pleased’ with the way Saints have dealt with their Champions Cup drubbing at Clermont Auvergne.

And he now wants them to translate a positive week of recovery and preparation into a big performance at Sandy Park on Sunday.

The Saints coaches got the players in for their longest video session of the season on Tuesday, with lessons learned from the 37-5 quarter-final defeat in France.

And now sights are set on extending the 10-point lead the team currently enjoy at the top of the Aviva Premiership when Exeter provide the opposition this weekend.

“We’ve been really pleased with the response from the lads,” said forwards coach West.

“We’ve been very honest in the assessment of what went wrong last week and we’ve worked out what we need to sort out to be a better team. It’s been a good week.

“It’s never easy getting knocked out of a competition. You get one chance in that sort of competition and the mistakes we made complemented the strength of their team.

“We allowed them to run away with the game in the first half, but we’re a proud side and we know what we can do to be better.

“We’ve had a good look at ourselves this week and hopefully we’re doing the right things to make our team more successful.

“We just need to make sure we translate the work we’ve done on the training pitch into the game and get the result we’re looking for.”

But fifth-placed Exeter have their own ambitions, with a top-two place still a realistic possiblity for Rob Baxter’s men.

And with the Chiefs having won 24-18 at Franklin’s Gardens in November, West is well aware of the threat they will pose on their own turf this weekend.

“They’ve worked hard at their game and they’ve come a long way,” he said.

“They’re one of the only teams to beat us at home this season and they’re a good outfit.

“They’ve got a lot of good players in the forward pack and some really exciting backs so we know they’ll throw everything at us.

“But we have got a good record there in the league and we’ll be looking to do ourselves justice and make sure we’ve learned from the November performance.

“If you’re not at your best they will hurt you.”