Australia international Dean Mumm excited to begin Heineken Cup adventure with Exeter Chiefs
Dean Mumm says Exeter Chiefs will look to hunt down European champions Leinster with nothing to lose on their Heineken Cup debut.
The Chiefs travel to Dublin on Saturday to take on the Irish province who have won the continental competition for the last two seasons.
With a squad packed with Ireland internationals and household names, the hosts will be favourites to open their bid for an unprecedented third successive title with a win at Aviva Stadium.
Australia international Mumm, who shone on his Exeter debut in last weekend's Aviva Premiership 42-28 defeat of Harlequins, thinks that creates an ideal scenario for the Chiefs as they make their competition bow.
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"This is the first time the Chiefs have ever been involved in the Heineken Cup and it's a wonderful opportunity," Mumm said. "I think you've just got to be excited about it.
"You never underestimate a team like Leinster after the amount of success they have had, but also you've got to get in there and get stuck in and see what you've got against them.
"For us as a side there's nothing to lose and that's not a bad place to be to try and hunt the European champions."
Being massive underdogs in the Irish capital on Saturday will be nothing new to the Chiefs players, who have become used to being written off over recent seasons. It is that willingness to overcome the odds stacked against them that Mumm feels will serve them well, not just this weekend but in the future as well.
"You've got to fight for it. One of the strengths about Exeter is that everything they have achieved they have fought for," the 28-year-old added. "I'm confident we can continue to keep on fighting and I'm happy to be a part of that in some form.
"The challenge is can we do it week after week and can we reproduce a performance that perhaps wasn't perfect last weekend but was certainly good?"
The Chiefs stunned Harlequins, last season's Premiership champions, with an attacking display full of pace and precision.
That saw them claim five tries, with two for centre Jason Shoemark and one each for Brett Sturgess, Ben White and Sireli Naqelevuki.
Mumm hopes they can now replicate that form on a consistent basis and be a threat to any opposition.
"It was a very pleasing result for us," Mumm said of last weekend's win. "To do that in front of your home crowd is very important, they're the sort of games that bring people back.
"To play an expansive game, something Harlequins are well known for and have been very successful doing, match them and get the result, was very pleasing for the team.
"The challenge is to keep reproducing that time after time and being a team that consistently perform open rugby."
Mumm was handed his opportunity to impress as head coach Rob Baxter opted to rest several front-line players last weekend, including skipper Tom Hayes. The former New South Wales Waratahs star made the most of his chance with an eye-catching and dynamic display and hopes he has done enough to be involved in the squad this weekend.
"I was very surprised to be given the opportunity to play last weekend, given the magnitude of the game," he said. "I'm very happy to have been given that opportunity, all I can hope for is that I took it.
"The challenge going forward is to hope I'm on the plane to Dublin and see what I can do through the Heineken Cup. You can't take anything for granted. Hayesy [Hayes] is the captain and heart and soul of this place, so you can't be replacing a man like that too easily."