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Baxter heaps praise on Waldrom

Exeter boss Rob Baxter hailed his two-try hero Thomas Waldrom after Exeter pulled off a hard-fought 24-20 victory over Saracens to keep their Aviva Premiership play-off hopes alive.

Waldrom's tries were his 15th and 16th of this season to cement his position as the league's leading try-scorer.

Luke Cowan-Dickie was Exeter's other try-scorer with Gareth Steenson converting all three and kicking a penalty.

Saracens scored two tries through Chris Ashton and Chris Wyles with Hodgson converting both. Owen Farrell and Hodgson each kicked a penalty.

Of Waldrom, Baxter said: "He's a very good footballer at the heart of an improving pack. He could have had a few more over the season but for a number of penalty-try awards.

"England appear to be well served in that area with Ben Morgan and Billy Vunipola but both he and Dave Ewers have been in fine fettle."

Baxter was ecstatic to keep Exeter's season alive as they face a crucial home game against Sale to gain a play-off spot.

"Next week will be biggest game of rugby Exeter will have been involved in," he added.

"We have to be mentally tough, not crumble and stand strong on our own patch. Leicester were mightily impressive yesterday (they beat Wasps 26-21) and it shows what intensity you have to play at in the final stages of the season.

"I'm very pleased for the players to come through this in the way we did as we've not been at our best in recent matches.

"We've been in tight games against Saracens before but they normally nick it so it was nice to come out on the right side."

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall was critical of his team's performance.

"I'm hugely disappointed," he said. "I t was not good enough to let them score three tries in the manner in which they did.

We didn't take some big chances, didn't show enough composure and we missed the muscle of Billy Vunipola."

Saracens, who moved down to fifth place in the table but are still on the same number of points as Exeter, face bottom club London Welsh at the Kassam Stadium in their final fixture.

"We don't know how motivated Sale will be for their visit to Exeter for when they went out of Europe, they lost their next game by over 50 points," added McCall.

"We just have to get five points from our game and score as many points as we can."

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