May 19, 2017
Shaw Praises Preparation Ahead of Exeter Test
Saracens skills coach Joe Shaw has spoken of the squad’s professional approach to preparing for Saturday’s Premiership Semi-Final against Exeter.
Sarries won their second successive Champions Cup and will hope to continue the defence of their European and Domestic double with a trip to Sandy Park on Saturday afternoon.
Victory would see a repeat of the 2016 Final where the Men in Black held off a late Chiefs surge to win their third Premiership crown and Shaw has expressed the importance of that and previous games in terms of preparation for a game of this magnitude.
He explained: “Obviously, we’ve got experience having played a few games against them in the last 12 months and they’ve always been huge clashes; Exeter are on a superb run at the minute with bonus points in their last 8 games.
“Saying that, we’re also in a good place coming off the back of a really good win and it’s been good to see how fast our boys have re-focused this week
“We understand what sort of a challenge we’re up against and the appropriate work that has needed to be done.
“We’re in a good place, and looking forward to getting down there”
Exeter had a week off last weekend while Saracens were in Edinburgh for a famous win but Shaw believes that will have very little impact on Saturday’s match.
He said: “You can always look at what’s come before but the challenge we faced last week was as good a level of preparation as we could have had in terms of intensity and the challenges you’re going to be posed with.
“We’ve had that preparation, they’ve had two weeks but we’re lucky that we’ve been able to do a lot of preparation on Exeter in the past so we’re looking forward to getting down there and get stuck into the game.
“We’re at such a stage now where we’re just focused on ourselves and what we need to do, we know how much we respect Exeter.”
Exeter have undergone a meteoric rise since promotion from the Championship in 2010 and have established themselves at the upper echelons of the Premiership in recent seasons and Shaw praised the Chiefs:
“We admire what they’ve done and how well they’re coached as well as the players that they’ve got and the culture that they’ve got, it’s not anything new to us.” He explained.
“We’ve played down there in big games before and it’s just going to be one of those games where two brilliant teams come against each other.
It’s going to be decided by small margins so we know we’re going to have to be on our mettle to get what we want but have prepared accordingly to do that.