Fixtures - Top Bar

Back to basics approach for Chiefs

RBaxter-Chiefs-1201

Exeter Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter insists he and his teams will go "back to the bare bones" in a bid to address their recent loss of form in the Aviva Premiership.

The Devon club slipped to a fourth successive top flight defeat as Shane Geraghty’s last-gasp drop-goal gave London Irish a priceless 28-26 victory at the Madejski Stadium.

For a second successive week, it was a bitter pill to swallow for Baxter and his team who, with just over a minute remaining, appeared to be in control of proceedings having clawed their way back into the contest thanks to converted tries from Dean Mumm and Dave Ewers, as well as four penalties from fly-half Gareth Steenson.

Irish, though, would never lie down and they claimed all five points thanks to tries from Blair Cowan (2), Tom Guest and Alex Lexington, whilst Geraghty and Tom Homer shared the remainder of their points with the boot.

"It was a tough one, wasn't it?" said a disappointed Baxter post-match. "Right now we are going through that period where that win is proving tough to find.

"It was another performance we have put together in this period where we were good in parts and you can’t fault the endeavour of the guys to get themselves back into a winning position on a couple of occasions, this despite having a couple of hammer blows go in there, but again the decisive last points in the game have come from the opposition.

"Yes it’s tough to take. I could have been sitting here praising the way the team got back into it if that drop-goal misses, but as it is I am a little bit frustrated as several of their tries were from our own making and that is frustrating."

Baxter continued: "I’m not going to say anything different to you that I haven’t said to the players already. When you watch things from a distance, like you do here, it was almost like we were a bit hesitant in what we’re doing, almost expecting things to happen.

"I’m sure when we review the game on Tuesday, I’m sure there will be guys who will say ‘I thought this would happen or that would happen’ and that’s what it is going to be like. Also, there were a couple of scrappy things around the line-out, miscommunication going on, and little bit like that all game.

"I expected bits of that today, simply because I knew we would be a bit nervy. We’ve put pressure on ourselves to be at the top end of the league and had we won today we’d have been back in the top four. But with the three losses we’ve had recently, it was always going to be make us a bit nervous and no matter what i said or did, this group of players were going to be nervy and I thought they proved that a little bit today.

"That said, you have got to give them credit for bouncing back from those two quicker scores because on another day, away from home, it would have been very easy to cave in. With a minute left on the clock, in their defensive quarter, you think we have a good opportunity to win, but it wasn’t to be."

Despite the loss, Exeter’s losing bonus point did lift them back into fifth place in the table, just a point behind next best Wasps and three behind third-placed Saracens.

For the next month, though, it will be Cup matters – both in Europe and the LV= Cup – that will take priority for the Chiefs and Baxter believes the change of focus could act as a nice distraction for his players.

"We have the opportunity of four weeks now that will offer us a different distraction," said Baxter. "We will look at a few things and there will be a bit of brutal honesty that we can lay on the guys now after the last few weeks.

"As I have said to them, you should want to be in the Premiership because it’s a tough competition. We played extremely well to get in that top three earlier this season, we really did, and you wouldn’t watch those games and say we didn’t play well, because we did.

"It was a group of guys who were ripping everything away with every action they did. We didn’t expect anything to happen, we made it happen, and that’s what we have to do. We have to go back to the bare bones of things.

"Today was almost like we will do A,B & C and D & E all happen, but it doesn’t quite work like that. You ram home A, you ram home B and sometimes C might get you some momentum for D & E to happen. Right now, we’re not getting to the Ds and Es."

Latest News

Freddie Burns ecstatic to have stepped up after Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Month award

Freddie Burns’ impressive displays have seen him named Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Month for November and the Leicester…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Gloucester Rugby confirm new deal for scrum-half Callum Braley

Ahead of this evening's fixture with La Rochelle, Gloucester Rugby are pleased to confirm the next re-signing for the 2017/18…

Callum Braley

Josh Beaumont backs Sale Sharks’ new boys to shine

Marquee summer signings AJ MacGinty and Josh Charnley are primed and ready to make their presence felt in the second…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Freddie Burns named Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Month for November 2016

Leicester Tigers’ outside-half Freddie Burns has “got his strut back” and this has led to him being named Aviva Premiership…

fburns-potm-0812

Match officials for this weekend’s European fixtures

Northampton Saints will face Leinster in a rematch of the memorable 2011 final as the European Rugby Champions Cup returns…

629845781DM00026_Saracens_v

Worcester Warriors ‘unlucky’ in defeat to Wasps, says Ryan Bower

Worcester Warriors prop Ryan Bower admits it was important for his side to put in a performance against Wasps after their humbling Aviva Premiership Rugby defeat…

Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images

In-form Henry Purdy desperate to keep improving at Gloucester Rugby

Henry Purdy is refusing to rest on his laurels and has vowed to push on hard, despite praise from all…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Max Clark the centre of attention at Bath Rugby

Back in September – just when Bath Rugby were beginning to count on him in the centres – an ill-timed…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Seven tries success for Exeter Braves over Bath United

Exeter Braves’ Shaun Malton and Levi Davis of Bath United became the first opponents since 2005 to both score hat-tricks…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Worcester Warriors capture Samoa lock Chris Vui

Warriors have completed the signing of versatile Samoa forward Chris Vui till the end of the season. For everything you…

Chris Vui

Wallabies lock Will Skelton joins Saracens

Australian international forward Will Skelton has joined Saracens on a short-term deal. For everything you need to know about Saracens…

Will Skelton

Rowe hails ‘fantastic’ year for Exeter Chiefs

Exeter Rugby Club chairman and chief executive, Tony Rowe OBE, heralded a “fantastic” past year – on and off the…

Exeter Chiefs celebrate

Dan Tuohy joins Bristol Rugby with immediate effect

Dan Tuohy has penned a deal with Bristol Rugby to make the switch to Aviva Premiership Rugby with immediate effect.…

Dan Tuohy

Ally Hogg, Cooper Vuna, Aaron Morris, Lachlan Turner, Bryce Heem and Dan Robson head the Opta Rugby Rankings

Attacks dominated as Newcastle Falcons claimed a dramatic win over Harlequins this weekend in Premiership Rugby but Ally Hogg starred…

allyhogg16sb1111

Premiership Rugby backs Newcastle’s bid for 2018 European Rugby Cup Finals

Premiership Rugby today confirmed its “100% support” for Newcastle’s bid to become host city for European club rugby union's showpiece…

Newcastle Falcons celebrate

Newcastle launches bid for 2018 European Rugby Cup finals

Newcastle is bidding to become the host city for European club rugby union's showpiece weekend in May 2018. The aim…

Newcastle Falcons celebrate

Aviva Premiership Rugby wrap: Round 10

Maro Itoje could not mark his return to a Saracens jersey with a victory – but his director of rugby…

BATH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03:  Maro Itoje of  Saracens is tackled by Max Lahiff of Bath during the Aviva Premiership match between Bath Rugby and Saracens at the Recreation Ground on December 3, 2016 in Bath, England.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Pat Lam confirmed as Bristol Rugby head coach

Bristol Rugby is delighted to announce the appointment of Pat Lam as the Club’s new Head Coach. The 48 year-old…

Pat Lam