Exeter must move on from first loss of season – Baxter


Sam Simmonds
Wasps became the first side this season to stop Exeter’s prolific forward Sam Simmonds from scoring a try

Exeter Chiefs director of rugby Rob Baxter says it is important his side move on after suffering their first loss of the campaign at Wasps.

The 34-5 defeat was the Premiership and European champions’ first reverse since a weakened Chiefs side lost at Ricoh Arena at the end of last season.

Despite the loss Exeter are still top of the Premiership, level on points with Bristol, their next opponents.

“We’ve got to accept it, take ownership of it,” Baxter told BBC Radio Devon.

“It’s a tough loss but we’ve lost plenty of games before and we’ve always come back and we’ve ended up winning Premierships and European Cups being a team that’s able to lose.”

Exeter’s side was devoid of many of its internationals, who were being rested after the Autumn Nations Cup, while the likes of Marcus Street, Richard Capstick and Will Witty were handed rare starts.

“It didn’t just all go wrong,” added Baxter, whose team missed out on taking a point from a game for the first time since that loss at Wasps in October.

“You’ve got 15 moving parts out there and what have we become known for and why have we been successful? Because our 15 moving parts are pretty well-oiled and they know their role in the machine.

“We move forward down a field and we do it on a relatively structured but organised and effective way.

“You don’t have to have many parts of that machine not quite aligned for it to become tough, and if the opposition have got 15 guys way more aligned than you have on the day they make it even tougher for you.

“Have we mentally been in the right place? Probably not, because some of the things that we did were uncharacteristic, but they can happen under pressure.

“The battle to make a high-performing team is that under pressure you don’t make those mistakes, you don’t give away those penalties, you don’t slip off those tackles, you don’t make those bad reads. That’s what makes a good side and today we just weren’t quite good enough at those things.”



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