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Clive Stuart-Smith column

Clive Stuart-Smith
Manchester no doubt will feel slightly aggrieved to come away with just a losing bonus point to show for their efforts as we were lucky to not only win the game but score four tries

Heading up to Manchester we braced ourselves for some extreme weather.

The majority of the squad had taken their thermals although Matt Jess took his sleeping bag and portable campfire just in case it got too cold on the wing.

However, we were greeted with warm, sunny weather so much to Matt's joy he left his camping gear safely on the bus. It was great to see the Chiefs faithful make the trip and we were eager to get the rugby underway.

Unfortunately the rugby didn't match the weather or our travelling support.

Manchester went into the game with nothing to lose and it showed as they were willing to attack from everywhere.

They defended with an intensity that showed that they did not deserve to be at the bottom of the league.

We had a lot of chances to score however we just couldn't convert them and our error count was much too high. Our game lacked any real cohesion and the longer the game progressed, the pressure we put on ourselves intensified.

Manchester no doubt will feel slightly aggrieved to come away with just a losing bonus point to show for their efforts as we were lucky to not only win the game but score four tries.

We will review the game candidly and learn our lessons very quickly as we host Nottingham this weekend.

In order to get a result [against Nottingham] we are going to have to play our best game to date

It is important that we come in full of positivity with a real spring in our step, ready to attack the week.

Nottingham are a very proficient team full of confidence, deservedly so, as their only loss this season was against Leeds in the opening game of the season.

It is a crucial weekend as the top four are in action against each other.

After the disappointment of the weekend there is nothing better than putting in a convincing performance in, particularly against such a good side.

However in order to get a result we are going to have to play our best game to date.

I have been reliably informed by our resident weatherman that the weekend will be "chilly in parts, with a sporadic sprinkling of rain and only a 7% chance of snow". Let's hope he is 93% right.

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see also
Chiefs skipper has case dismissed
04 Nov 08 |  Rugby Union
Manchester 19-26 Exeter Chiefs
01 Nov 08 |  Rugby Union
Clive Stuart-Smith column
28 Oct 08 |  Rugby Union
Exeter Chiefs 10-3 London Welsh
25 Oct 08 |  Rugby Union
Drewett assesses new rugby laws
21 Oct 08 |  Rugby Union


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