Exeter must be ‘spot on’ for Newcastle: Sturgess

Brett Sturgess says Exeter Chiefs will have to be “spot on mentality” when they tackle Newcastle Falcons at Kingston Park in the Aviva Premiership this Saturday.

The Chiefs will make their longest trek of the season looking to not only bounce back from successive league defeats against London Irish and league leaders Harlequins, but at the same time inflict another loss on the division’s basement club.

Having defeated the Falcons 32-15 at Sandy Park in September, the Devon club will be hoping for more of the same as they look to claim their first league double of the season.

Ahead of kick-off, however, prop Sturgess has warned that the Chiefs can ill afford to replicate the mistakes of the past two games, He said: “It will be strange to play at Kingston Park on a Saturday, normally you are used to going there on a Friday night. That said, it will be just as tough.

“We had a great battle up there last year and fortunately came away with the spoils. It’s a tough travel, but we know what it takes to win up there and that means being mentality right when you hit the pitch.”

In a tight encounter with table-topping Harlequins on Saturday, the Chiefs came within a whisker of snatching a dramatic, last-gasp victory. Sadly for the home side, Gareth Steenson’s drop-goal chance drifted wide of the mark and it was Londoners who finished 2011 with the points.

The game, though, did see Rob Baxter’s side concede a number of soft penalties and Sturgess knows a repeat performance in the North East could spell disaster, especially as the Falcons have the predatory Jimmy Gopperth within their ranks.

“If we do the same they will be out of sight because Gopperth can kick from anywhere and is really dangerous,” said Sturgess.

“Some of the penalties we gave away against Harlequins were silly, so we need to rectify that. Giving them penalties like we did kept them in the game and left us chasing for long periods which was disappointing. “

“Now we have to dust ourselves off and carry on into this week for what is going to be a tough game.”

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