Sunday's game certainly takes on greater importance now
Exeter Chiefs may not have finished 2013 as they would have hoped, but already skipper Dean Mumm is aiming to start the New Year with a bang.
Just days after coming unstuck 6-22 to Harlequins at a packed Twickenham, the experienced Aussie forward already has his sights set on Sunday's Premiership trip to London Wasps.
Determined to get Devon's finest back amongst the division's leading pack, Mumm says it's vital he and his team-mates respond in the right way at Adams Park.
"Sunday's game certainly takes on greater importance now," said Mumm.
"This week was a close battle between fourth and fifth, and next week it will be sixth against seventh.
"The games come thick and fast and every game becomes more important as you move towards the end of the season, so we need to turn ourselves around pretty sharp. Wasps away from home is a tough challenge, but it is one we will certainly be up for."
Unlike the Chiefs, Wasps picked ended the calendar year on a high point as they recorded a victory on the road at Newcastle Falcons. However, the Chiefs have already overcome their rivals 30-26 at Sandy Park and hopes are high that they can claim their first league double of the season.
For that to happen, though, Rob Baxter's men will need to up their game from that which they displayed at English Rugby HQ last time out. A disappointing first half display allowed Harlequins to race into a 19-3 half-time lead thanks to tries from Nick Evans, Charlie Walker and Mike Brown. Although the Chiefs were much improved in the second period, Mumm admitted their endeavours in the first 40 had left them with too much to do.
"It was a disappointing first half," added Mumm.
"We did not turn up with the vigour and intent that we wanted to come with, and we consequently left ourselves with a gap which was very hard to come back from.
"The intent and the will in the second half was certainly much better, and we created some opportunities but we didn't finish them. It was maybe a game of two halves, but we didn't really nail the points in the second half and so it is a little bit of a disappointing trip up to Twickenham, but we move on.
"Harlequins did nothing that we hadn't seen beforehand, but full credit to them, they did attack well and with versatility," said Mumm, the 33-cap Australia international.
"They attacked with kicking as well as with ball in hand, their off-loads were very good, and they made a lot of metres up through the middle with pick and go. "They attacked right across the park. They did well and capitalised on the opportunities they had, and consequently they had a good lead at half-time."
Indeed, it was a frustrating afternoon for the Chiefs and Mumm, who throughout Saturday's contest was seen to be involved in a number of animated conversations with referee J-P Doyle over some of the Irishman's decision-making.
"I was a little bit frustrated with the referee, but that happens. There is going to be frustration between a captain and a ref," he explained. "You have got to try your hardest to take the ref out of it, and perhaps sometimes we left things a little bit messy and open to interpretation."