TOP BAR - Fixtures

Match Reaction: Exeter Chiefs 11 Saracens 14

Exeter Chiefs director of rugby Rob Baxter is certainly not hitting the panic button after his side’s 15-match winning streak at Sandy Park was ended by Saracens on Sunday.

The boot of Charlie Hodgson proved to be the Chiefs undoing in the second half after they had raced into an early lead through James Short’s intercept try against his former club.

Samuela Vunisa’s try just before the interval also proved important as the home side turned around from a first half with a strong wind behind them with only an 11-5 lead.

And they were made to pay for that in the second half as Saracens – who move five points clear at the top of the Aviva Premiership Rugby table – turned the screw.

Baxter’s charges stay second in the table but lost on home turf for the first time in 13 months – not that Baxter was too downcast.

"The result is not the be all and end all as we are still second in the Premiership and overall our performance was pretty good as we just lost a game, late in the day against a very good side," he said.

"It was a tough game and a very close one but I'm slightly frustrated with certain aspects of our game.

"Our ill-discipline just before half-time gave them a try and it was a huge moment in the match, so we have to be a little bit better."

Mark McCall’s Saracens side have still only lost one game all season and claimed a measure of revenge for last year when the Chiefs did the double over the London club.

With a number of players absent on international duty as well, McCall was delighted with the squad depth on show.

And with a tough clash with Wasps up next, the Irishman is hoping his side can continue to grind out results.

"If we had lost that one, I would have said it was one that got away as we had much the better of possession and territory but they defended very well,” he said.

"We were 11-0 down playing against the strong wind but we didn't deserve to be and Vunisa's try just before the interval was crucial as we went into half-time only six points down.

"It doesn't get any easier as we have Wasps next week and they have less players away to international calls than we do, but I have confidence in this group of players for the next few weeks."
 
Exeter: Dollman; Woodburn, Whitten, Hill, Short; Steenson, Chudley; Moon (Hepburn, 52), Yeandle (Cowan-Dickie, 52), Low (Williams, 67), Atkins (Stevenson, 61), Parling, Armand, Salvi (Horstmann, 72), Waldrom
Replacements:  Lewis, Hooley, Bodilly.
 
Saracens: Ransom; Ellery (Earle, 73), Tomkins, Barritt, Wyles; Hodgson, Wrigglesworth; Barrington (Gill, 67), Brits, Du Plessis (Lamositele, 73), Smith (Itoje, 43), Hamilton, Wray, Brown, Vunisa (Burger, 47)
Replacements: Saunders, Spencer, Mordt,
 
 
Exeter Chiefs 11 Saracens 14
 
Exeter
Tries: Short
Penalties: Steenson 2
 
Saracens
Tries: Vunisa
Penalties: Hodgson 3

Referee: Tom Foley
Attendance: 12,450
 

Latest News

Toby Flood starts for Newcastle Falcons against Rotherham Titans

Toby Flood makes the first start of his second spell at Newcastle Falcons on Saturday when they host Rotherham Titans…

Joe Marler commits to Harlequins until 2021

Harlequins is thrilled to announce today, Friday 18th August, that England and British and Irish Lions prop, Joe Marler, has…

Joe Marler

European fixtures to be released on Tuesday

The fixtures for the 2017/18 Champions Cup and Challenge Cup season will be announced on Tuesday, 22 August at 3.00pm…

Rokoduguni starts for Bath Rugby against Ospreys

Semesa Rokoduguni will make his first appearance of pre-season when Bath Rugby take on Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium on…

Harlequins team to play Jersey Reds

Harlequins has announced the squad to play Jersey Reds in the final match of the 2017/18 pre-season campaign, at The…

Francis Saili

Stringer starts for Worcester Warriors at Birmingham Moseley

Summer signing Peter Stringer will get his first start for Warriors on Friday night as his side take on Birmingham…

London Irish name side for Ealing Trailfinders clash

London Irish have named a 30-man squad for this Friday’s pre-season clash with Ealing Trailfinders at Hazelwood (kick-off 7.30pm). The…

Gloucester Rugby announce line-ups for preseason friendly at Leinster

Gloucester Rugby will give game time to a number of their first team squad in Leinster on Friday evening as…

American rugby players and coaches to get once in a lifetime opportunity

Thirty American rugby players and coaches are being handed the chance of a lifetime to train in England with Premiership…

Stephen Myler: Northampton Saints ready to fight for the title

Stephen Myler is predicting the closest ever Aviva Premiership Rugby campaign and believes his Northampton Saints side will be right…

Sonatane Takulua expecting big things from Newcastle Falcons this season

Sonatane Takulua believes unity and a collective purpose, combined with an improved playing pool, can help propel Newcastle Falcons up…

Sonatane Takulua

Wasps name team for first pre-season fixture against Ulster

Dai Young has named a 26-man squad to take on Ulster Rugby at Kingspan Stadium in the first pre-season fixture…

Anglo-Welsh Cup 2017-18 launched

WORCESTER WARRIORS have the honour of hosting the opening match in this year’s Anglo-Welsh Cup on Friday 3 November, when…

Leicester Tigers win the Anglo Welsh Cup

Ally Hogg pleased by Newcastle Falcons’ early progress

Ally Hogg believes Newcastle Falcons are well set to attack the new Aviva Premiership season after a double dose of…

Ally Hogg

Topsy Ojo relishing Exiles return to Aviva Premiership Rugby action at HQ

Topsy Ojo believes there could be no more fitting way for London Irish to announce their return as an Aviva…

Newcastle Falcons’ Sonatane Takulua sees Philadelphia trip as a ‘great opportunity’

Newcastle Falcons’ Sonatane Takulua insists his side’s September clash with Saracens in Philadelphia will be no holiday for the players,…

Sonatane Takulua

Harlequins statement: Luke Wallace and Jonas Mikalcius

Harlequins can confirm today (Tuesday 15th August) that flanker Luke Wallace dislocated his hip during the pre-season friendly against London…

Luke Wallace

London Irish kick-off Anglo-Welsh Cup at home to Bath

London Irish will host Bath Rugby at the Madejski Stadium in the opening round of the Anglo-Welsh Cup on Saturday…

London Irish kick-off Anglo-Welsh Cup at home to Bath

HITZ graduate secures first full time job after being inspired by Premiership Rugby final

A teenager from Leigh who overcame a troubled home life and tackled confidence and communication issues thanks to Premiership Rugby…

Lucy Neal