Fixtures - Top Bar

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

Teofilo Paulo excited by London Irish move but will miss home cooking

Samoan international Teofilo Paulo is making the most of his mum’s cooking ahead of the summer move to London Irish.…

British & Irish Lions beaten in first Test by New Zealand

Two second-half tries from winger Rieko Ioane helped New Zealand to a 30-15 victory in the first Test against the…

Harlequins Ladies coach savours upcoming Women’s Super Rugby season

Women’s sport is booming according to former Richmond prop and Scotland captain Karen Findlay, who is now relishing the prospect…

Aviva Tackling Numbers programme celebrated at Corporate Engagement Awards

Premiership Rugby and its Aviva Tackling Numbers programme enjoyed not one but two moments in the spotlight at the Corporate…

Corporate Engagement Awards

Lions ready for battle on eve of All Blacks Test

After months of waiting and weeks of build-up, The British & Irish Lions are ready to face the toughest challenge…

Saracens and London Irish to kick off the season at Twickenham

SARACENS and London Irish will help launch the 2017-18 Premiership Rugby season after being chosen as the home sides for…

Ex-England star Susie Appleby excited to lead Gloucester-Hartpury in inaugural Women’s Super Rugby campaign

Former England international Susie Appleby believes it’s an exciting time for women’s rugby as she issues a rallying cry to…

Wasps confirm 2017/18 pre-season schedule

Wasps have today confirmed their 2017/18 pre-season schedule, which will see them face Connacht Rugby and Ulster Rugby, as well…

Wasps celebrate

Quartet sign Academy contracts with Bath Rugby

Bath Rugby is delighted to confirm that Rhys Davies, Wil Partington, Miles Reid, and Kieran Verden have all signed long-term…

Todd Blackadder

Clare Daniels hoping to inspire the next generation of female rugby referees

The first female official in Aviva Premiership Rugby history, Clare Daniels, has urged girls and women to take up officiating…

Luke McLean enthused by London Irish move

Luke McLean is looking to reignite his international career under Italy Head Coach Conor O’Shea following his summer move to…

All Black Francis Saili joins Harlequins

Harlequins is excited to confirm today (Wednesday 21st June) that All Black Francis Saili has joined the Club. Commenting on…

Francis Saili

Bath Rugby sign Phillips from Bristol Rugby

Bath Rugby is pleased to announce the signing of James Phillips, who has joined the Club from Bristol Rugby until…

JamesPhillips1

Nowell gets two tries as Lions see off Chiefs in Hamilton

Exeter Chiefs’ Jack Nowell returned to his sparkling best with two tries for the British & Irish Lions in their…

Nalaga a big coup for Irish says international teammate Tikoirotuma

Explosive wing Napolioni Nalaga can be an big hit in every sense of the word during next season's Aviva Premiership…

Masi and Everard return to Wasps alongside new Academy Manager Jonathan Pendlebury

Wasps are pleased to announce a new Academy structure ahead of the 2017/18 season. The new set-up sees former Yorkshire…

The new Wasps academy coaches

Sale Sharks announce signing of Australia international James O’Connor

Sale Sharks have announced the latest in a wave of world class signings, as they confirm Australian International James O’Connor…

Sale Sharks announce signing of Australia international James O’Connor

Lions prepared for final warm-up before All Blacks Test

After a crucial victory against the Maori All Blacks, the British & Irish Lions are just a single match away…

Wasps sign Paul Doran-Jones and David Langley

Wasps today confirm the signing of props Paul Doran-Jones and David Langley, while loosehead Tom Bristow is confirmed as leaving…

Paul Doran-Jones