‘We are a better team now’ – Baxter

Date published: April 10 2016

Exeter Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter is proud of his side's performance despite their 25-24 defeat to Wasps in the Champions Cup quarter-final at Ricoh Arena on Saturday.

The victory for Wasps means that they will face Saracens in an all-English semi-final at the Madejski Stadium, after an injury-time conversion from Jimmy Gopperth edged Wasps past a spirited Chiefs side. 

The pivot calmly slotted a very difficult attempt after Piutau crashed over in the 80th minute, securing a final four spot for the two-time European champions.

"It was two good sides going at it hammer and tongs. One team had to win it and that wasn’t us today,” Baxter told the Exeter Chiefs website. 

“I am really proud of how we turned up here today. 

"We have shown some really good qualities and I think that is what games of rugby should be about.

A dejected Baxter placed their loss into perspective admitting that it could have gone either way.

“I’ll be honest, it is very disappointing," he said.

"It would be very easy now for the players, who are obviously a bit down about things, to start to try and rip the game to pieces and look at every single little mistake that happened, and could we have done things a little bit differently.

“The truth is, if that last kick hadn’t gone over, we would have been feeling great about ourselves, and we wouldn’t have been worried about the little mistakes we made in the game, and that is wrong as well.

“The way to view it is to properly look at what we did well in the game, and what we did badly, and learn from each thing.”

Chiefs will have their sights set the on Premiership title. The Sandy Park outfit are currently in second position – two points ahead of Wasps.  

“I would like some of the players to learn from today and move on and want to improve their individual performances, because that is what you want from every game, but there is no way anyone can turn around and say we didn’t take a full part in today’s game, because we did, and I think we will be a better team for it."