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Parling keen to learn from European heartbreak

Exeter Chiefs were left devastated by last weekend’s European loss to Wasps but Geoff Parling has urged his teammates to learn for it to avoid a repeat.

The Chiefs came within seconds of a European Champions Cup semi-final only for Jimmy Gopperth’s last-gasp conversion to deny them.

Exeter have been forced to quickly turn their attention back to Aviva Premiership Rugby where they will look to secure a first-ever semi-final spot with victory at Gloucester Rugby this weekend.

And while nothing will make up for the disappointment of that Coventry loss, Parling wants the club to learn from their errors, with three rounds of domestic action still to play.

He said: “We showed we can mix it at that stage of the competition but I think we’re a bit better than that. With 15 to go and picking and driving on their line with only a back defending, if we score that we go 20 points up.

“Instead we get turned over and the rest is history. It might have been a good game for the neutral to watch but it wasn’t necessarily to play in because we probably lost a game we should have won, we were in a very strong position. We just let it slip away.

“That game at the weekend, we’ll never get that back. That’s it, that opportunity has gone so you have to make sure you do everything to win those games.

“All the good work the boys have done, starting in pre-season, it’s about backing that up in every game. It’s what the team and the club and the lads have done all season. We want to make it tangible for something in the end.”

While the loss to Wasps was devastating, Exeter will have the chance to avenge it in three weeks’ time when the two teams meet again in domestic action at Sandy Park.

And with the carrot of a home Aviva Premiership Rugby semi-final on the horizon, Parling is eager to help the club take a big step in their history.

He added: “This week we can win and guarantee a top four, which would be a big step for the club and the week after it would almost be a quarter-final to push for that home semi.

“With the big games you have to back them up the next week. You’ve got to back up a big, emotional performance with another one and another one and it’s going to be like that for the run-in.”

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