Baxter hails Chiefs defence

Date published: August 15 2016

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Exeter head coach Rob Baxter was impressed by his side's defence after they comprehensively beat the Scarlets 45-3 in a pre-season match.

The Sandy Park victory saw Harry Williams, Tom Johnson, Matt Jess, Thomas Waldrom and Olly Woodburn (2) all score tries for the home side.

Only a Rhys Patchell penalty troubled the Chiefs and that was the most pleasing aspect for coach Baxter as he reflected on the positive result.

"It's like anything you can watch the game and you can find areas where you can be critical of a few things. Overall, though, the one thing we talked about this week was making sure we showed a good attitude and I think what shows your attitude more than anything else is the defensive score more than the attacking score," he told the Chiefs website.

"To only concede three points and no tries is fantastic. There were some situations where we could have let Scarlets through, but we didn’t; we stayed and fought on our line and we came through some tough periods. As I said, I’m delighted with our attitude as a whole and I’m pretty pleased with the end outcome.

"Two or three little things we have worked on did create some space today. Ali [Hepher] has worked very hard on some elements of our attack and I think three of four of those, especially in the second half, we saw really come to fruition."

He added: "In attack we did find some holes and some space and we finished off some nice tries, so overall it was a very pleasing first game."

This Saturday Exeter will host Ulster and Baxter hinted that new signings Greg Holmes and Dave Dennis could feature in that fixture.

"We didn’t name anybody who came home late from the internationals this summer, so there are still a group of players who are going to get game time next week against Ulster," he said.

"They are some of what you would describe as some of our frontline players over the last few years, so again that is very pleasing.

"Add into things that we have still got Ollie Devoto to fit in, Greg Holmes and Dave Dennis are now with us and going well, so there is a good chance of them getting involved next weekend."

Baxter concluded: "It shouldn’t be us easing down and getting ready for the Premiership season, it should be about us seeing how hard we can push on in these next few weeks."

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