Fixtures - Top Bar

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

Meet Sale Sharks’ Curry twins – Ben and Tom

When Tom and Ben Curry travel with the England squad to Argentina, they will be looking to claim a record…

Ben and Tom Curry

Aviva Premiership Rugby European wrap: Saracens make final as Bath fall short

Aviva Premiership Rugby champions Saracens are into their third European Rugby Champions Cup final in four years after defying a…

Karl Dickson to retire at the end of the season

Harlequins scrum-half Karl Dickson has today (Monday 24th April) announced that he will retire from rugby at the end of…

Karl Dickson

Northampton Saints appoints new chief executive 

Northampton Saints has today announced that Mark Darbon is to be the club’s new chief executive. Darbon arrives at Franklin’s…

Mark Darbon

Donncha O’Callaghan signs new Worcester Warriors deal

Warriors are delighted to announce that British & Irish Lion Donncha O’Callaghan has signed a new deal with the Club.…

Donncha O'Callaghan

Match reaction: Stade Francais 28 Bath 25

Francois Louw praised Bath Rugby’s battling spirit but was left disappointed as they lost a dramatic European Challenge Cup semi-final…

Match Report: Stade Francais 28 Bath Rugby 25

Bath Rugby narrowly missed out setting up an all-Aviva Premiership Rugby final in the European Rugby Challenge Cup after a…

Aviva Premiership Rugby European wrap: Saracens and Gloucester Rugby celebrate Cup finals

Saracens and Gloucester Rugby are both celebrating places in this season’s European Rugby finals after the Aviva Premiership Rugby sides…

Match Reaction: La Rochelle 14 Gloucester Rugby 16

Gloucester Rugby director of rugby David Humphreys hailed his side’s ‘unbelievable effort’ as they produced a stirring defensive display to…

Match Reaction: Munster 10 Saracens 26

Mark McCall hailed Saracens’ amazing defence after they withstood a first-half assault against Munster and emerged victorious to book a…

Match Report: La Rochelle 14 Gloucester Rugby 16

Billy Burns scored all of Gloucester Rugby’s points and the Cherry & Whites produced an impressive defensive display to down…

Match Report: Munster 10 Saracens 26

Mako Vunipola and Chris Wyles scored vital tries as Saracens booked their place in the European Champions Cup final with…

Saracens ready for titanic Munster challenge

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall is expecting little sign of weakness from Munster when the two sides clash in…

Sell-out crowds confirmed for Champions Cup semi-finals

The semi-finals of the European Rugby Champions Cup will be played in front of sell-out crowds in Dublin and Lyon…

Sell-out crowds confirmed for Champions Cup semi-finals