Fixtures - Top Bar

Rob Baxter praises all-round team effort at Exeter Chiefs

Head coach Rob Baxter hailed his Exeter Chiefs side as they saw off local rivals Bath Rugby to close the gap on leaders Saracens at the top of the Aviva Premiership.

Fresh from victory away to London Irish the week previous, the Devon club pocketed only their second-ever league win against Bath at a packed out Sandy Park.

Skipper Gareth Steenson was the chief architect of the home side’s 26-17 win, plundering four penalties and also converting tries for Ian Whitten and Kai Horstmann. The Irishman’s 16-point haul took him to 1,000 top flight points and edged him ever closer to Tony Yapp’s all-time scoring record for the Chiefs.

Bath countered with two converted Amanaki Mafi tries either side of the break, while full-back Tom Homer also slotted a second half penalty, but it was never enough against Baxter’s side, who in the process also avenged their narrow opening day defeat at the Recreation Ground.

At the final whistle, the Exeter leader was quick to praise the "all-round effort" of his troops in battle and said his side’s 10th league win of the campaign was "fully deserved".

"It's nice to finally start to feel like we are getting on the right side of games with Bath," said Baxter afterwards. "We have gone a long time losing to them in tight games in close circumstances and we have come through another tough one today.

"I have just said to the lads, great credit to them because I think the last half-hour of that game showed tremendous spirit from us and a desire to work hard to win that game. The five minutes before and after half time when they scored their two tries, it did take the wind out of our sails for a little bit, but I was delighted at the way the players then wrestled it back.

"I thought our discipline was fantastic, because it had to be especially into the wind, and ultimately Bath's let them down under pressure, so great credit to the guys. To then bang in that try and really open things up at the end, it was a fantastic moment for us."

With the Six Nations Championship robbing the Chiefs of a number of players, including tight-head props Tomas Francis and Moray Low, it meant summer signing Harry Williams was handed his first Premiership start and the former Jersey man did not disappoint.

Baxter added: "Wasn’t it great to see Harry Williams come in and our scrum go well? You have to great credit to the players and to [forward coach] Rob Hunter, who has done a great job with a changed up scrum this week.

"We went from having a dominant scrum last week at Irish and losing both tight-heads to having he dominant scrum again today, which is fantastic. It was also great to have Dave Ewers back running around and getting what was a pretty good 60 minute performance under his belt.

"Overall, though, I think the players have got the reward for some very hard work and mental toughness and that always pleases me more than points on the board.

"I said before the game that we had to play like we deserved to win, just because when we do that it gives us the chance to beat any side. In the past when we've lost to Bath we probably haven't always deserved to win, but today I thought we thoroughly deserved to win and we have."

Latest News

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

Venter integral to Du Plessis opting to join London Irish

Petrus Du Plessis says Brendan Venter was a key factor in his decision to move to London Irish this summer.…

Fight and spirit shone through despite defeat, says England U20 coach Vass

Head coach Ian Vass hailed his England U20 side’s fight and spirit after they were beaten in the World Rugby…

Match Report: England U20s 17 New Zealand U20s 64

New Zealand ran in ten tries as they overpowered England in the final of the World Rugby Under 20s championship…

Aviva Premiership Rugby stars see home nations complete clean sweep

It’s been a busy weekend of international rugby and there were plenty of stand-out performances from a whole host of…

Supreme England secure series win in Argentina

Will Collier scored the winning try as England secured a hard-fought 2-0 series win against Argentina in another enthralling Test match.…

England name team for World Rugby U20 Championship final

England have named their team for the World Rugby U20 Championship final against New Zealand on Sunday (kick-off 3pm BST,…