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Heineken Cup intensity can drive Exeter on, says Scaysbrook

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: October 26, 2012

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Exeter Chiefs flanker James Scaysbrook hopes experiencing the intensity of Heineken Cup rugby can drive his teammates to greater heights as the Aviva Premiership returns this weekend with his side's trip to Bath.

The 30-year-old returns to his old stomping ground looking to bounce back from the Sandy Park side's 46-12 defeat to Clermont Auvergne.

The former Rec favourite was in the Exeter team that went in at half-time against the French outfit leading 12-10, only to concede five second-half tries without reply as they fell to a heavy defeat.

But Scaysbrook believes the performance was a reminder of the levels needed to win against the top sides, and to overturn a Bath outfit Exeter have not beaten in a competitive fixture since 1978.

"Obviously, we were very frustrated because the game was going well but we weren't able to stick to our game plan in the second half," Scaysbrook said.

"We did a few things in that second half we didn't want to do, but they have a lot of quality in their squad and that definitely showed.

"It's great having one of the top European teams coming to Sandy Park – with a full house it's always loud but it added to the excitement.

"We need to do the same thing we've done in other competitions, go at it 100 per cent and continue to stick to our game plan and keep our intensity and we'll take what's given.

"That's our goal, to continue to improve. Playing in the European Cup, we are hoping it will do us good leading into the next few games."

Scaysbrook made more than 100 Premiership appearances for Bath over the course of eight seasons but it is at Exeter where he has really established himself, becoming the only man to start all of their first 49 games in the top flight.

That record only ended when he sat out the impressive 42-28 victory over champions Harlequins three weeks ago, but despite continuing to show the form that earned him an Aviva Premiership Player of the Year nomination last season, he insists it is the coaches at Exeter who deserve all the praise.

"The coaches are very good and make sure we have a sensible week leading up to a game and maximise how fresh we are," said the 6ft 1in forward.

"There's a lot of excitement around the club, a lot of new challenges and they keep us excited. The confidence definitely helps. We are continually looking to build on our game and add things and not forget the fundamentals as you have to have that part of the game."

Aviva are proud to be title sponsor of Aviva Premiership Rugby – one of the world's leading rugby union competitions. Each season will feature 135 games, which will be watched by 1.7 million people live at the grounds and many more through our broadcast partners Sky, ITV and ESPN. www.premiershiprugby.com

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