Rob Baxter urges Exeter Chiefs to ‘finish the job’

Date published: January 14 2020

Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter wants his side to finish the pool phase of the Champions Cup on a high against La Rochelle at Sandy Park on Saturday.

The Chiefs have sealed top spot in Pool 2 and their place in the quarter-finals after their 31-31 draw against second-placed Glasgow Warriors in their Round 5 clash at Scotstoun at the weekend.

Although La Rochelle are out of the qualification equation, Baxter is concerned that his players might take things easy when they take on the French side.

“To get that home draw, everything is still in our hands,” Baxter told the Exeter website. “We’ve done what we needed to do, but now we have to go and finish the job next week.

“La Rochelle, we know, will be tough. Any French side with nothing to lose is danger, danger, danger!

“They will be coming over with no pressure on them at all, so that will make me worry a bit this week.

“Instead, what we have to do is lock ourselves down, make no mistakes and get ourselves in the right mindset to go out and win.

Baxter expressed his delight with the way the Chiefs overcame a several setbacks to gain some reward from their clash against the Warriors – a match that had many scratching their heads for whom to back with the online bookies.

“It was a tough week,” he said. “Each day we were seeing a different forward coming in and calling line-outs.

“Losing the likes of Jonny Hill, Dave Dennis, Sam Simmonds, then Don Armand overnight, they are big characters and big boots to fill, yet the guys all stepped up and I can’t give them enough credit for that.

“It wasn’t perfect – and it was frustrating at times – but what I like about us at the moment is that we are really going after teams and staying on the front foot.”