Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

Baxter: Victory freshens up season

Rob Baxter feels the win over London Welsh 'freshens up the season'

Head coach Rob Baxter felt Exeter's bonus-point victory over London Welsh has breathed new life into the Chiefs' season.

Five tries as well as 22 points from the boot of Gareth Steenson saw Exeter end a run of five Aviva Premiership games without a win as they dispatched visitors London Welsh 47-16.

Baxter said: "It freshens up the season for us and keep things exciting. A point behind Bath and seven behind Northampton and there are still plenty of Premiership games left for us."

He added: "Its nice now to be thinking about where we can go if we put together some good performances rather than worrying about what we might get caught up in. I think it might be playing on a few people's minds.

"There are still a lot of points on the table in front of us so this was an important win to get under our belts. We've had a couple of nervy performances recently and we were nervy again for the first quarter of the game.

"Ultimately once we got control of the breakdown, which was the one area we were struggling in for the first 20 minutes, and we could create some good phase play - we looked a good side.

"We looked more than a handful and in the end London Welsh couldn't really hang on to us. We were looking hungry in defence and it was a step up from where we've been for a couple of weeks.

"Something that we have been focusing on this week is making sure our defence becomes a weapon for our attack. London Welsh are a very competitive side and they don't often get beaten by quite large scores."

London Welsh trailed 19-9 at the break with fly-half Gavin Henson kicking three penalties for them. The former Wales and British Lion added the conversion of their only try from wing Phil MacKenzie.

"I feel like to apologising to the crowd because they came along for a contest and we really didn't compete," said London Welsh head coach Lyn Jones. "I don't know if Exeter were really that good or we were that bad, it may be a mixture of both. You can't take anything away from Exeter because they scored five very good tries."