‘We were outplayed’ – Baxter

Date published: March 27 2016

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Exeter Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter had few complaints after his charges were well beaten by Saracens on Saturday in the big Premiership clash.

Alex Goode, Billy Vunipola, Owen Farrell, Jackson Wray and Chris Wyles scored for the hosts, with Thomas Waldrom (2) responding for Exeter.

The result meant that Saracens now climb above the Chiefs into top spot in the standings and after the defeat, Baxter gave his assessment.

"It was a little frustrating. It doesn't take me to say that we had the elements in the first half and we needed to capitalise on that and we didn’t at all really," he told Exeter's website.

"We lost the ball too easily, we didn’t really get through any phase play in the first half, we didn’t really build any concerted pressure and ultimately we paid the price for that because we haven’t been able to keep a very good Saracens side under any real pressure. That was the key to it."

He added: "I can wrap it up fairly simply. I thought Saracens were good today. They played very well in testing conditions, certain players played very well for them and at the end of the day we have been out-played.

"I can run around and try and make all sorts of excuses and reasons, but we got beaten – especially in the first half – on the gain line, both in attack and defence. We improved that in the second half and some of our defensive sets were pretty good and very physical. We started to carry and keep some phase play together and at times we did some good stuff.

"However, once Saracens were comfortable some of the offloads in and around the tackle area were very good for them and gave them huge momentum."

Next up for Exeter is a home clash with Worcester while Saracens go to Bath and Baxter is keen to see his side bounce back at Sandy Park.

"I’ve just said to the players the easiest way for me to wrap it up is to remind them of the bigger picture. We came here almost exactly a year ago and won, yet Saracens won the Premiership. Individual games between top-four sides don’t always carry the weight that they feel they do at this time of year," he said.

"Coming here is tough and it’s very tough when Saracens play very well, which they did today. Our focus has to be on how the lads turn up for training this week and how we refocus for the home game against Worcester. We have to put this game down as one of those tough games in the season, a little bit like Saracens have done having lost to Wasps here a few weeks ago.

"As I said, you don’t have to fall apart as a team. Let’s focus on the good things we do and qualities we need to bring each week."

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