Boyd knows mindset will be key as Saints seek a Sandy Park repeat
Boss Chris Boyd knows it will be ‘a tough day at the office’ for Saints at Sandy Park this afternoon (kick-off 3pm).
But he believes that if they travel with the right mindset, they can repeat their February heroics against Rob Baxter’s Exeter Chiefs.
Saints beat Exeter 13-12 in dramatic fashion earlier this year, ending a seven-year wait for a win at Sandy Park.
But they will face another huge challenge this weekend against a Chiefs side who suffered a 34-19 defeat at Leicester Tigers on Gallagher Premiership opening day last Saturday.
“Exeter are a good example of a team who had a number of Lions players who can’t play for them,” Boyd said.
“They’ve got five or six guys coming back from injury and it tends to be that you get those injuries all in the same place so they’ve got a lot of guys out in the lock, loose forward space.
“That’s where you’ve got to promote your youngsters and it really tests your squad.
“We know the Exeter that played last week was a long way from being fully strength and that’s just the nature of the competition we play in.
“When you’ve got other agendas around Lions, international duty, the balancing act is tricky.
“What we do know is that you’re never going to get an easy game at Sandy Park.
“We’ll go down there and they’ll bring out a lot of pride, physicality and passion and a lot of intent after they took a defeat at Leicester.
“It’s going to be a tough day at the office.”
So what did Saints get right when they finally won at Exeter in February?
“If you don’t turn up in the right mindset, you’ve got no chance so you’ve got to go down there with the right attitude - the ‘we want to win’ attitude, which hopefully the boys take with them to every game, it does seem to vary from time to time,” Boyd said.
“You’ve got to be right on it all through the game, you’ve got to get a bit of luck and you’ve got to back yourselves as a rugby team.
“We know it’s a tough assignment but there’s probably 24 tough assignments in a season. This one is especially tough.”