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Aviva Premiership: Rob Baxter hails Exeter as Chiefs keep Heineken hopes alive

Last updated: 13th April 2013   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Aviva Premiership: Rob Baxter hails Exeter as Chiefs keep Heineken hopes alive

Rob Baxter: Delighted with his Chiefs

It is nice at this stage of the season not to be turning-up at training knowing your season is dead. For us it is very much alive with two fantastic games to go. It is a bit like we've been through a semi-final with a final to play tomorrow.

Rob Baxter
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Boss Rob Baxter was delighted with his Exeter team for keeping their Heineken Cup qualification hopes alive with a 27-6 win over London Irish.

Second half tries from wing Matt Jess and replacement flanker Dave Ewers helped lift the Chiefs into sixth place in the Aviva Premiership table with Gareth Steenson also booting five penalties.

Baxter says dealing with the horrible conditions was key to the victory, heavy rain in the west country turning the Sandy Park pitch into a bog.

He said: "In those conditions at this time of year that kind of scoreline shows a relatively convincing win but having said that, it was tough for a long time.

"London Irish came here with really good line speed, very effective in the tackle area and that certainly stood in front of us for long periods.

"As the pitch began to cut up it got a bit harder to play and our power game, which was really pleasing, started to show. We looked strong in the scrum, our driving game came together at the lineout which forced a good moment of pressure."

Energised

"If you look at our form at present it is four wins out of five and the one loss was by three points against Leicester. We feel that we are playing pretty well, the boys feel fit and energised so are enjoying things.

"It is nice at this stage of the season not to be turning-up at training knowing your season is dead. For us it is very much alive with two fantastic games to go. It is a bit like we've been through a semi-final with a final to play tomorrow."

Brian Smith's London Irish have won just once away from home in the league this season and the director of rugby admits he is big fan of Exeter.

"It is a good kick in the pants and we'll suck it up and get rid of our frustration next weekend in our last home game.

"I have a lot of admiration for Exeter; they have a very fit squad; a lot of dog in their pack and across the board. They play for each other and a lot of character. They haven't run around signing rock stars as they all play for each other."

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Forthcoming Aviva Premiership Fixtures
TimeFixture
Aviva Premiership
Sunday 23rd November
Aviva Premiership
13:00Saracens vs Northampton
15:15London Welsh vs Leicester Tigers
Friday 28th November
19:45Bath vs Harlequins
Saturday 29th November
15:00Leicester vs Wasps
16:30Exeter vs Saracens
Sunday 30th November
13:00London Irish vs Gloucester
14:30London Welsh vs Northampton
15:15Newcastle vs Sale
Saturday 20th December
14:00Sale vs Exeter
15:00Gloucester vs Bath
15:00Saracens vs London Welsh
15:00Harlequins vs Newcastle
15:00Northampton vs Leicester
Sunday 21st December
14:00Wasps vs London Irish
Friday 26th December
15:00London Irish vs London Welsh
Saturday 27th December
14:00Sale vs Leicester
15:00Bath vs Exeter
15:00Gloucester vs Wasps
15:00Harlequins vs Northampton
15:00Newcastle vs Saracens
Saturday 3rd January
15:00Exeter vs Gloucester
15:00Saracens vs London Irish
15:00Leicester vs Bath
15:00Northampton vs Newcastle
Sunday 4th January
14:00Wasps vs Sale

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