EXETER CHIEFS ARE not going to allow a 46-3 humbling at the hands of Clermont Auvergne deter the welcoming party they have in store for Leinster on Saturday.
The Premiership side are not the only club to have felt the brunt of Clermont’s title ambitions this season and have two pool stage wins to their name after a successful back-and-forth with Llanelli Scarlets.
They had a last-minute kick against Leinster at the RDS in October that would have earned an away draw but Argentine out-half Ignacio Mieres pushed his effort right and wide.
Mieres played the final 30 minutes of the heavy defeat to Clermont but it was enough for him to get well and truly rattled by Julien Bonnaire and Jamie Cudmore.
“Every little mistake, they will score points,” he said. “The top teams will score points.
“Defensive-wise, we needed to be very alert and the physicality, and stopping offloads, is really important.”
Mieres is likely to play back-up to former Ulster out-half Gareth Steenson, who has kicked 53 points in the Heineken Cup this season.
“Leinster are another awesome team,” he said. “That is why the pool is so difficult.
“I’m sure it will be a really intense game and we will need to play our best to get a positive result.”
Exeter coach Richard Baxter refused to be downbeat after the French side ran in six tries to stretch their unbeaten run at the Stade Marcel Michelin to 53 games.
“There is a reason this is the top club competition in the world,” he commented.
“It’s tough out there and every now and again you will get a result like this. I just hope that we learn from all of this and that we get better next week.” Baxter added:
I don’t think I’ll need to lift the lads after that. They are a proud bunch of players and I’ve no doubt they will want to prove a point next week.
“I have no issues with any of them because I didn’t see any player who didn’t want to tackle, who didn’t hit rucks; who didn’t run or who didn’t scrummage.”
Exeter have beaten Harlequins, Saracens and four other teams in seven matches at Sandy Park this season.