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Page last updated at 10:24 GMT, Thursday, 6 May 2010 11:24 UK

Exeter Chiefs flanker Chad Slade expects bruising game

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Home tie is bonus - Slade

Exeter Chiefs flanker Chad Slade expects a bruising encounter when Bedford visit Sandy Park for Saturday's Championship play-off semi-final.

Exeter won the last meeting between the sides by 42-19 in January, but Slade feels the Blues will provide a far tougher challenge this weekend.

He told BBC Spotlight: "Bedford are definitely the hardest team I've played against in the past couple of years.

"They're very confrontational just like us and Saturday's going to be huge."

January's win followed a 20-11 victory for Exeter over the Blues at Goldington Road last October.

Right from kick off I know there'll be a couple of our boys trying to win the eye battle

Chad Slade

But with a famous 17-16 play-off win over promotion favourites Bristol helping Bedford finish second in Pool A, the Blues are enjoying a strong run of form ahead of Saturday's semi-final.

Slade said: "They're kind of similar to us in that they've got a very strong forward pack and their backs are quite physical.

"So we've done a lot of homework and it's just a matter of trying to mimic our own game plan because they're pretty similar to us.

"Right from kick-off I know there'll be a couple of our boys trying to win the eye battle and it just starts from there.

"On the day it'll be whoever wants it the most," the 28-year-old added.

606: DEBATE

The Chiefs secured home advantage in the semis by finishing top of Pool B and Slade hopes local support will help spur the team to victory.

He said: "To get a semi-final at home is an extra bonus because we've definitely got the numbers.

"If we can get everyone in and fill up the stadium it'll be what the boys need."



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see also
Exeter Chiefs 53-10 Nottingham
01 May 10 |  Rugby Union
London Welsh 16-15 Exeter Chiefs
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Exeter Chiefs 51-15 Doncaster
10 Apr 10 |  Rugby Union
Doncaster 19-21 Exeter Chiefs
03 Apr 10 |  Rugby Union
Exeter Chiefs 32-6 London Welsh
27 Mar 10 |  Rugby Union
Baxter confident of further improvement
19 Mar 10 |  Rugby Union


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