TOP BAR - Fixtures

Match Reaction: London Irish 15 Exeter Chiefs 22

?Rob Baxter hopes Exeter Chiefs’ hard-fought win over London Irish will prove crucial at the end of the Aviva Premiership Rugby season as they look to reach the play-offs for the first time.

The Chiefs bounced back from successive defeats to beat Irish 22-15, as they came back from a half-time deficit to win.

Dave Lewis scored the Chiefs’ only try, while Gareth Steenson racked up 17 points against the basement side.

And with Exeter now ten points clear of fifth-placed Leicester Tigers, Baxter knows that every point is crucial.

“I’ve said to the players, don’t underestimate what an important result today was,” he said.

“I thought credit to London Irish, they played very well and were very tough opponents. We’ve had to battle and in a way that is good for us.

“Having to come here and battle through a really tough performance and show our mettle, I think down the line we’ll look back at this result and hopefully it will prove very important for us.

“We’re looking pretty safe from relegation. That box we’ve ticked off. We’re pretty pleased with where we are.

"That’s what today was about, keeping yourself there because there’s no doubt the chasing pack is closing in and it’s becoming bigger and bigger.

“There’s a whole raft of teams just behind us and if anyone puts together a decent run they’ll be in that top four pretty quickly. Games like today are where you make your season-defining points.”

While Exeter are well-placed in second, there are serious concerns for Irish, who are now five points adrift at the foot of the table.

With Worcester Warriors and Newcastle Falcons both winning this weekend, the Exiles could ill-afford to go down at home, but director of rugby Tom Coventry admits their indiscipline – they picked up two yellow cards – was proving costly.

“We did enough in the first half to be right in the game,” he said.

“It’s disappointing obviously, where we are at in the table we have to be pretty disappointed with today’s loss at home. But we showed some grit today and fought right to the end of the match and that hasn’t always been a trait we’ve had throughout the season so that was pleasing.

“When things aren’t going your way you pick up yellow cards. When you’re a team under pressure things sometimes go against you. We’ve got to be better, discipline has to be better.

“We can’t afford to play with 14 men for that period of time against the second best team in the competition. It’s something we’ll address.”

London Irish 15 Exeter Chiefs 22
 
London Irish: Fenby, Ojo, Mulchrone, Williams, Hearn, Brophy Clews, Steele (Allinson 63), Smallbone (Court 53), Paice (Ellis 68), Aulika (Halavatau 53), Symons (Nagle 24), Stooke, Treviranus (Trayfoot 61), Narraway, McCusker
Not Used: Geraghty, Lewis-Pratt
 
Exeter Chiefs: Dollman, Woodburn, Whitten, Hill S (Campagnaro 60), Short, Steenson, Chudley (Lewis 47), Moon (Hepburn 55), Yeandle (Cowan-Dickie 55), Low (Francis 55), Hill J (Atkins 60), Parling, Armand, Salvi, Waldrom (Horstmann 74)
Not Used: Hooley
 
London Irish
Tries: Treviranus, Ojo
Conversions: Brophy Clews
Penalties: Brophy Clews
 
Exeter Chiefs
Tries: Lewis
Conversion: Steenson
Penalties: Steenson 5
 
Referee: Dean Richards
Attendance: 5,892

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