Phil Dollman – “We owe fans a performance”

Phil Dollman - "we own fans a performance"

Exeter Chiefs return to Premiership action after a great two weeks in Europe but Phil Dollman thinks his side still owe the fans after their defeat to Bristol.

Rob Baxter on This Weekend;

“the last premiership memories are crowd have got, is of us not doing very much for forty minutes”

Baxter was quick to point out that his side needs to continue their form from Europe into the Premiership. In his words to “set the records straight” after their first home defeat since April against this weekend’s opponents Wasps.

Dave Dennis backed up the sentiments of Phil Dollman and admitted that him and his teammates were “hurting a little bit from that performance against Bristol”. This makes the game against Wasps all the more important for Chiefs if they want to maintain momentum before they return to Champions Cup action against Sale.

The Challenge of Wasps

Although Wasps currently sit in tenth in the Premiership table they are only five points behind Chiefs. Phil Dollman knows they cannot be taken lightly and said the key to winning was “about keeping their dangers out of the game”.

Those dangers will come in the form of All Black pairing Lima Sopoaga and Malakai Fekitoa. Both of which pose a massive threat in attack and defence.

Baxter described the Coventry based side as “a good side with lots of quality players”. Chiefs will have to be at their best if they are to climb the table pre-Christmas.

Injury Update

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Exeter are currently struggling in the front row and at tight-head in particular. Tomas Francis and Jack Innard have both undergone surgery and are expected to be out for between 10-14 weeks.

Jack Yeandle was a casualty of last weekend against Glasgow. He has suffered a broken arm and is expected to be out for a similar length of time as his tight-head counterparts.

Managing Returning Internationals

Chiefs should be commended for the way they have successfully reintegrated their World Cup stars. The likes of Jack Nowell, Henry Slade and Stuart Hogg have shone in recent weeks but they have to be managed carefully.

Baxter told us that Slade and Nowell must have at least one week of rest in the eight weeks proceeding the world cup. He did not divulge when this would be but he also expects Hogg to have a similar period of rest by the choice of the coaching staff.

Maintaining Momentum

It has been a strange season so far in terms of structure. The Premiership Rugby Cup replacing regular pre-season games due to the World Cup, a move that Baxter praised. Now clubs find themselves with a single week of domestic action before they are back into European games.

Again Baxter was complimentary of the way the season has been organised. Stating “there’s a lot lying on every game and that should bring the best out of us”. Although he pointed out “we won’t know until we see the Wasps result” whether it has worked for his side.

It is important for Chiefs to not have the change in competition be a distraction as Dave Dennis said;

“it’s a different competition but our mentality doesn’t change”

Phil Dollman Reflect on Changes at the Club

Veteran full-back Phil Dollman has found himself somewhat on the fringes after and injury against Worcester and the arrival of Stuart Hogg. However, he still remains content at the club despite changes over the year.

There is “definitely a different buzz” to when he first joined the club way back in 2009. He admits the club is a “little bit more focussed now” compared to the earlier years in the Premiership.

Although his time at the club may be drawing to a close over the next few years Dollman still loves life at the Chiefs and in his words “long may it continue”.

“Main Photo Credits”
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