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Matt Jess declares Chiefs must build on good starts

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: January 13, 2014

By Nick Warren

Matt Jess

Matt Jess

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Wing Matt Jess thinks Exeter Chiefs need to capitalise on their bright starts after falling to another defeat at the weekend.

Glasgow Warriors won their Heineken Cup Pool Two clash at Sandy Park 15-10, an eighth loss in their last nine matches for the Chiefs.

The home side were 10-0 up midway through the first half, having been 13-3 ahead at half-time the week before against Wasps before losing 19-16.

Cornishman Jess wants to see them build on those platforms rather than resting on their laurels.

“What we’ve got to start doing is when we’re 10-0 up or 10-5 up is start ramming it home,” he said. “Let’s not sit back and think we’re 10-0 up and we’re safe as it can come back and bite you, which it did a little bit on Saturday.

“We were still in it at half-time at 12-10, but maybe we let a few things get on top of us.

“We only gave them three points in the second half, which was good and says a lot about our defence and character, but we don’t want to be leaving it until ten minutes from the end to be trying to kick to the corner and driving them over. We should be doing that as the game flows on.

“There are a lot of lessons to be learned from Saturday. Hopefully we can have a positive review on Monday and look forward to the next game against Cardiff.”

Saturday’s defeat was a third loss against Glasgow this season, having gone down 29-26 at home in a friendly in August and 20-16 in the away European tie in October.

Jess said the Chiefs players knew what was coming and, while they were unable to overcome it, said it was great for players handed a chance to play in the Heineken Cup.

“It was a tough game, Glasgow are tough opposition and we know what they’re about as we played them in pre-season and up there,” he said. “We knew what they were going to come down and do.

“I think they found it tough as well, there were a lot of positives for us, but we just came up short at the end by five points. It was a Heineken Cup game and some of the boys who played had not played in the Heineken Cup before, so it was a massive experience for them.”

“A few boys haven’t had game time recently,” he added. “Some of the guys have been out on loan but playing in different structures so it was nice to see our boys playing at home and how we brought our systems out onto the pitch.

“We’ve got Henry [Slade] and Dave [Ewers] and a few of the boys have made the Saxons squad. These young lads like Luke Cowan-Dickie are not far off it. Getting their opportunity and a bit of game time can only help them.

“A few boys are getting up to speed and hopefully that will push the boys who have been playing in the Premiership that bit further.”

After the Chiefs play their final Heineken Cup game at Cardiff next weekend, they face their last two group games in the LV= Cup against Ospreys and Worcester.

Jess hopes they can use those matches as a chance to build some momentum for the Premiership matches against Northampton, Bath, Saracens and London Irish.

“We haven’t had the run of results but we’ve not been losing massively, it’s by a score or two and last week [against Wasps] it was the last kick of the game,” he said. “If we can ram home a couple of victories, it could be a momentum-changer for when we go back to the Premiership.”

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