A club with Exeter's aspirations can't afford to slip up by not winning games when playing against 14 men, says prop Carl Rimmer.
Despite playing for more than a hour against a 14-man Saracens at Allianz Park, Exeter still failed to win the game. Instead the hosts kept their nerve to draw 13-13 after Richard Barrington was sent off for a shoulder charge on Geoff Parling.
"It doesn’t matter who the opposition are, with the aspirations we have as a club and as players, that is one we should have closed out," Rimmer told the club's website following the match.
"A man up and leading at half-time, it was definitely one that slipped away. There are longer-term things you can look at, like going to the double champions and taking a draw, but with what we had to play with on the day, it definitely slipped away from us.
"We got into them in the first half and in parts of the second and when we did, it worked exactly how we wanted it to. I think when we look back though, we will see that we slipped into a bit of game management rather than getting on the front foot and going after them.
"It does prove Saracens’ strength – that is one way of looking at it. They had the steel about them and the game plan to get them back in the game."
Exeter now face a Champions Cup double-header, with Ulster visiting Sandy Park on Sunday before a trip to Clermont for their final Pool Five game.
They then face Anglo-Welsh Cup games against Wasps and Bristol before returning to league action against Dai Young’s men.
And Rimmer says that the Chiefs must keep the Saracens result at the forefront of their minds when they do to drive them on in their quest for a top-four finish.
"We are still in the mix – there is a bigger picture to the season and that is how we can look back at this result,” he said.
“When we come back to the Premiership, we can say we are still right in the hunt to push on for that top four and top two. But the burn from this draw has to be something we hold on to for that period."