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Venter acknowledges Exeter effort

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Brendan Venter

Brendan Venter

Brendan Venter

Brendan Venter hailed Exeter's first away victory in the Aviva Premiership as a triumph for the underdog and a great example of what can be achieved with collective will.

The Saracens rugby director said after his high-flying team had been beaten 23-9: "From my point of view it's amazing what you can achieve with a collective will. They came here with a team of unknowns, got stuck into us and deserved to win.

"When you analyse the game we have created an unbelievable number of chances and had a few little things gone right I think we would have gone on to win."

He added: "Their defence was excellent but the bottom line is they played as a team and we played as individuals. Yet when I watch the video I think I'll find we were not as bad as I thought.

"Of course I'm disappointed but what do I do - kick a chair, shout, or throw water? No, you have to give credit where it is due."

Inevitably, Venter was asked if he was hoping that Wales star Gavin Henson is available sooner rather than later after a mixed display by fledgling fly-half Alex Goode.

But Venter disliked the question and said: "I think that's a little cruel.

"Alex is growing and learning as a rugby player, he's in the pinnacle position and he is learning that, perhaps even sooner as first choice than I would have planned.

"Again we seem to be looking to criticise rather than look at the opposition. Gavin will become available when he finishes on 'Strictly Come Dancing' and when that happens he will face three to four weeks of tough training.

"It's a long time since he played first class rugby or any rugby and we must bear that in mind."

PA