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- LV= Cup
- Semi Final
- 9th Mar 2014
- KO 13:00
- Ground: The Recreation Ground
- Att: 11,000
LV= Cup: Exeter Chiefs to face Northampton in final at Sandy Park
Exeter boss Rob Baxter will be telling his players to enjoy the build-up to the LV= Cup final after the Chiefs booked their place in a home final by beating Bath on Sunday.
The Devon side pulled off a 22-19 semi-final victory over Bath at the Recreation Ground, surviving a last-minute penalty by home fly-half Tom Heathcote which would have taken the tie into extra-time.
The Chiefs will now face Northampton in next Sunday's final, and will benefit from home field advantage with the game set to be held at their Sandy Park home.
"I'm not going to go around saying 'Oh, it's just another game guys.' We're going to prepare like it's a massive cup game - because that's what it is," said Baxter.
"We're going to enjoy the week and getting ready for it. It's fantastic for our guys to be playing in cup finals. We said right from the start when we got into the Premiership, if we survived and worked hard there would be big games down the line - and this is one of them.
"We'll keep our feet on the ground, though. There weren't masses of celebrations among the players. They realise they have got a very tough game against a very good Northampton side.
"We've scored plenty of tries against Northampton before at Sandy Park and that's what we've got to look to do. It makes us true to ourselves when we go after games and look to score tries."
Bath stunned Exeter with a try inside 30 seconds from number eight Leroy Houston and Baxter admitted it had been a "sucker punch".
He said: "We took time to recover but gradually we worked our way back into the game. You could feel that when we turned up - to sunshine and a firm ground - the game was always going to be decided by great breaks. And it went our way today.
"In the end, we stayed composed enough to maximise a couple of opportunities. We gave away a fair bit of ball but we are a team that can score tries.
"The momentum shifted a few times. It started with Bath and their try and shifted to us with Fetu'u Vainikolo's try which came a bit out of nowhere."
Bath head coach Mike Ford was not about to begrudge Exeter their victory.
"We wish them good luck in the final. We'll now have a week off to regroup, to get over the knocks and bruises and also to get mentally fresh for what's coming in the rest of the season," he said.
"That team was good enough to win. There were a load of opportunities where we could have created pressure and scored more points but we weren't able to control the ball at crucial periods of the first half.
"Second half, they scored two individual tries which put them on the front foot. Again, we nearly found a way at the end to get a draw. We're not too despondent because we've still got a lot to play for this year in the Amlin Cup and obviously the Premiership, which is massive to us."
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|Saturday 31st January|
|14:40||Harlequins vs Bath|
|15:00||Leicester vs Northampton|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Ospreys|
|18:30||Scarlets vs London Irish|
|Sunday 1st February|
|14:00||Wasps vs Cardiff Blues|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Saracens|
|14:30||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Exeter|
|15:00||Newcastle vs Sale Sharks|
|Saturday 7th February|
|14:00||Sale vs Scarlets|
|14:30||Cardiff Blues vs Leicester|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Harlequins|
|15:00||Bath vs Ospreys|
|15:00||London Irish vs Newcastle|
|15:15||Northampton vs Wasps|
|Sunday 8th February|
|14:30||Newport Gwent D'gons vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Saracens vs Exeter|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com