Ewers ready for 'big month ahead'
By Mark Stevens
Dave Ewers says he and his Exeter Chiefs team-mates are targeting a ‘big month ahead’ as they set ready themselves for Friday’s return to Gallagher Premiership action at Gloucester (7:45pm).
Rob Baxter’s table-toppers will make the trip to Kingsholm in Round 10, looking to get back to winning ways at the first attempt, this after they were undone 22-19 by Sale Sharks at the end of January.
A disappointing first half display in that game saw the Chiefs trail 22-5, a deficit that they weren’t quite able to haul in despite a much-improved display after the break.
Since that loss, not only have the Chiefs been able to dissect that performance closely, but the squad as a whole have been able to recharge their batteries after a relentless 15-week block of fixtures.
“It was good to have a break and get a bit of time away from the club,” said Ewers. “Now, though, we’re all back in and we’re looking to go again. We’ve got a big month ahead of us, starting with Friday up at Gloucester.
“We know if we can string a few performances together – and get a few wins during this block of games – then it’s going to put us in a commanding performance.”
Certainly, the Chiefs have demonstrated this season that they are in fine fettle, topping not only the Premiership, but reaching the last eight of the Heineken Champions Cup, as well as the last four of the Premiership Rugby Cup.
But, as Ewers rightly points out, no prizes are handed out in February.
“It’s given us a good platform from which to work, but now we have to follow through on that,” added the imposing back-row forward. “It’s no good getting to the end of the season saying we looked alright at halfway. It’s down to us as a team and as a collective to push on and this is where it really starts for us.”
Up against what will be a fired-up Gloucester outfit, Ewers admits the Chiefs need no reminding of the threat posed by the Cherry & Whites, especially on their own turf.
“It’s always a tough place to go,” continued Ewers, who incidentally made his Premiership debut for the Chiefs at Kingsholm back in January 2011. “The atmosphere is always right up there and like ourselves they will be wanting to get back to winning ways. For both sides there are massive rewards if you can get the win on Friday night.
“The division is so tight right now and if you can string a few results together, you’ll fly up the table. However, if you lose a few as well, you can easily start to drop pretty quickly.”
Ewers is set to be included in a Chiefs squad that Director of Rugby Baxter says has been ‘thickened out’ thanks to the return of key players such as Harry Williams, Nic White, Sam Skinner and Stuart Hogg