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The Exeter Chiefs who have appeared in both of the two previous Anglo Welsh Cup final, winning in 2014 against the Northampton Saints, before losing the following year to Saracens, host the second semi-final in this season's tournamenton Sunday, when Harlequins are the visitors to Sandy Park in Devon. Both the Chiefs and Harlequins qualified for the knockout stage with identical records, of played four, won three and lost one. The Chiefs claimed the No.2 seeding as they collected 15 points during the qualifying phase, while Quins acquired just a single point less.
The Chiefs were beaten in their first fixture in the competition, going down 15-29 at the Stoop against Sunday's visitors. They got their challenge back online in Round 2, when they thrashed the Cardiff Blues at Sandy Park by 60-25. They then proceeded to hammer Wasps at home by 52-5, and a Round 4 bonus point win at Bristol saw them pip the Ospreys for top place in Pool 2. Quins won all of their first three fixtures, defeating the Ospreys and Worcester Warriors as well as the Exeter Chiefs. A shock 10-13 reverse in their final outing at the Stoop against the Sale Sharks however, cost them dear, and while they still topped Pool 4, they missed out on a home semi-final.
Posted: 9th November 2013
Rob Baxter, the Exeter Chiefs coach, wants to maintain his side's momentum, when they take on the reigning holders, in the opening game of this season's LV= Cup at Sandy Park on Saturday. The Chiefs who had developed a reputation for a rather conservative and dour approach, in their first two seasons in the Anglo Welsh Cup, have by contrast, produced some scintillating rugby this season, having scored at least 29 points in four Premiership games, as they have risen to the giddy heights of fourth place.
If the Exeter young guns produce the rugby that Baxter claims they are capable of producing, then the Sandy Park faithful could be in for a treat at the weekend. Baxter wants his side to keep playing exciting rugby in whatever competition they are competing in, but said that he is particularly excited about this time of the season, as it is the opportunity to unleash his young talent, who train hard all week, but don't always get the opportunity to display their talents on a Saturday. Baxter expects a tough challenge form Harlequins, who after a shaky start to the season, have come into some form in the past couple of weeks, and will be keen to defend the silverware that they won at Worcester Warriors, Six ways Stadium last season.
Tags: Anglo Welsh Cup
, Sandy Park
, Exeter Chiefs