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Rob Baxter proud of Exeter display as they hang on for draw against Wasps

Exeter head coach Rob Baxter hailed his side's remarkable resilience after they salvaged a 35-35 draw with leaders Wasps despite playing the last 35 minutes of the game with 14 men after lock Jonny Hill was sent off.

Hill was dismissed for a dangerous high challenge on Wasps skipper Ashley Johnson and it should have been the decisive factor in an incident-packed game of ten tries, two of them penalty try awards.

In addition to the their penalty try, Exeter's points came through tries from Sam Simmonds, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Olly Woodburn and Jack Maunder, with Gareth Steenson converting all five.

Christian Wade, Kyle Eastmond, Joe Simpson and Alex Reider scored Wasps' tries with Jimmy Gopperth adding five conversions.

Baxter said: "The team are due huge credit as we went down to 14 men pretty early but we didn't crumble as we worked hard to keep possession.

"We didn't adjust to the red card as quickly as we should have as we conceded a try straight afterwards.

"If you go high into a tackle, it is always possible that there will be accidental contact. It was not deliberate from Jonny Hill and the contact was not deliberate and only minimal but a card was always going to be issued, whether it was yellow or red."

Baxter was satisfied to have picked up a valuable three points which saw Chiefs return to third place in the table, albeit still ten points behind leaders Wasps.

He said: "Despite their international call-ups, Wasps still fielded a strong side, especially in the back division, so I'm pretty pleased to take three points in the circumstances.

"It's all about maintaining momentum as we've won two and drawn two of our last four Premiership matches and we need to go to Worcester next week absolutely bang on in terms of mental and physical fettle as they will be feeling good about themselves after beating Saracens yesterday."

Wasps' director of rugby Dai Young was also content with the three points as Sandy Park has never been a happy hunting ground for his team.

He said: "It was a great game for the neutral and I'd have settled for that before coming down here.

"Maybe we should have won it after they went down to 14 but they had the wind in their favour and kept it a little bit tighter.

"There wasn't much between us but it was frustrating on occasions as we needed to be a little more accurate as there were a number of opportunities we didn't take.

"It's always sad to see a player sent off but I know from playing each other regularly that there are no dirty players in either side and there was no malice or intention from the Exeter player."


From Belfast Telegraph