Lawes: Saints don't mind being underdogs in semi-final

Courtney Lawes can't wait to return to Sandy Park for a semi-final this Saturday
Courtney Lawes can't wait to return to Sandy Park for a semi-final this Saturday

Courtney Lawes says Saints don't mind being underdogs as they look to turn the tables on Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park this Saturday.

Lawes and Co lost 40-21 at Exeter last Saturday, shipping 19 unanswered points during the second half as they finished the regular season with a defeat.

But thanks to Wasps' win against Harlequins at the Ricoh Arena, Saints get the chance to return to Sandy Park this weekend for a Gallagher Premiership play-off semi-final.

And Lawes insists he and his team-mates are more than happy to be seen as the likely losers in that huge clash.

“Exeter are a really good team and we just know that we can’t afford to give them that amount of field position or time with the ball again otherwise they are going to score plenty of points," Lawes said.

“That pick-and-go game is hard to play against. We only managed to stop it once last weekend so we need to take a look at that and work hard this week.

“But we don’t mind being underdogs at all; we beat them on our patch earlier in the season and if we do execute our game plan properly and get it right then we can beat anyone.”

So what have Saints learned that they can take to Sandy Park this Saturday?

“There’s certainly plenty we can take from the game that makes us think we can turn the result around this week,” Lawes said.

“During the first half we went really well but were just a bit ill-disciplined which kept them in it, and then in the second half we lost the error battle which just swung the tide in their favour.

“We’re thrilled to make it through as it would be a really gutting result for us if that was the last performance we put in this season – we’re just excited to get back out on the pitch this week and put it all out there.

“There’s been plenty of positive change at the club; we’re really tight as a group of people and that really helps when you’re out there fighting with good teams like Exeter, plus we know exactly what we’re trying to accomplish in terms of our game plan.

“Obviously we didn’t do that last Saturday because of our ill-discipline, but that’s not the worst thing in the world to have to try and put right in the space of one week – we know where we went wrong.”