Exeter Chiefs: Rob Baxter seeks consistency after win over Glasgow

Date published: January 16 2022 - Planet Rugby

Exeter Chiefs boss Rob Baxter was delighted with the performance of his team after they thrashed Glasgow Warriors in the Champions Cup.

The Englishmen have struggled for form this season and succumbed 22-7 to the Warriors in the reverse fixture, but they completely dismantled the Scottish outfit in the second period on Saturday.

They scored 38 unanswered points to claim a 52-17 triumph which moves them closer to a place in the European knockout stages.

Basic game plan

“You saw that emotional alignment in the team,” Baxter said.

“We had a relatively basic game plan around creating pressure, going to the corner and creating as many five-metre opportunities as we could. We wanted to keep going and build our game around it.

“We created defensive pressure, kick-chase pressure and set-piece pressure. That allows you to move up the field, and if we are up the field and our driving game is on, we are a tough side to stop repeatedly.”

Wing Tom O’Flaherty scored three tries, while there was a double for number eight Sam Simmonds before skipper Luke Cowan-Dickie, Jack Nowell and Dave Ewers also scored. Fly-half Joe Simmonds kicked four conversions and centre Henry Slade two.

Baxter added: “You could just see the team flourishing on one another’s actions.

“The backs flourished on good ball from forwards; the forwards flourished on the defensive pressure put on by the backs.

“Our As and Bs and Cs stood up. We built our way up the pitch as we have done in really good years and that is probably the highlight for me – that DNA is still there.

“We’ve just got to let it out a bit more.”

Glasgow, who now face a crunch clash against La Rochelle in their final pool game next weekend, posted tries through lock Kiran McDonald and flanker Matt Fagerson, both converted by Ross Thompson.

But they had no answer to Exeter’s pace and power once the Chiefs clicked into gear.

Glasgow head coach Danny Wilson pulled no punches following his team’s second-half demise.

“It is going to take some looking at but basically we collapsed. We got ourselves back into the lead, then we shipped 38 points,” he said.

“I didn’t see it coming. With our recent form it was very disappointing. It was an unacceptable last 30 minutes.

“A few things went against us with a couple of injuries. We had to rejig things which left us a little bit exposed, but it is not an excuse for that much exposure.

“We gave them so many entries into our 22, which is the one thing you can’t do against this opposition. Errors, penalties, you name it. All aspects of our game fell apart in the last 30 minutes.

“There is a very despondent group, a little bit shell-shocked. We need to look at it and find out what happened and also we need to bounce back very quickly.

“We’ve got La Rochelle at home, which is another strong opposition, but if we can bounce back quickly, we can still get something from this competition.”

Wasps win over Toulouse delights ‘proud’ Lee Blackett

Wasps head coach Lee Blackett was delighted with his side after they recovered from a red card shown to Jacob Umaga to beat Toulouse in the Champions Cup.

Their 30-22 victory at the CBS Arena will live long in the memory for Blackett’s men as they shocked the reigning European champions at home on Saturday.

“This win would have to be up there. It’s the way we won,” head coach Blackett said.

“That took a lot of effort. When you go down to 14 men, especially when it’s someone in the backfield, you have to manage the game.

“It’s about how you manage those situations. I’m really proud of how we did that, especially our young backs.”