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'I have to feel for Rob' - Boyd expresses sympathy for Exeter counterpart

By PA

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Northampton Director of Rugby Chris Boyd expressed sympathy for his Exeter counterpart Rob Baxter as Saints won 26-24 at Sandy Park for their second victory at the venue this year.

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Back in February Saints won 13-12 and they repeated the dose thanks to a last-minute penalty from George Furbank as Northampton backed up their opening day triumph over Gloucester.

Alex Mitchell and Matt Procter scored their tries with James Grayson kicking two penalties and two conversions with Furbank adding the two late crucial penalties.

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Exeter outscored their opponents in terms of tries by scoring three with Jack Maunder, Don Armand and Rus Tuima on the scoresheet. Joe Simmonds converted all three and added a penalty.

Boyd said: “I have to feel for Rob as it’s a tough way to start the season with so many players absent.

“It still wasn’t a complete performance from us but I was very pleased with our line-out defence as they are very strong in that area.

“We know we can play but the biggest problem for us is that we don’t play well consistently enough and that’s where we need to improve.

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“It was a big decision to take our goal-kicker, James Grayson, off but in the 15 minutes prior to doing so, George (Furbank) did a lot of the kicking and fortunately luck went our way.”

Exeter’s Director of Rugby Baxter was still unable to pick his four British Lions and a number of other leading players were also missing from the line-up.

He said: “It’s not so much missing the Lions but the level beneath them. Jacques Vermeulen and Dave Ewers are both missing from our back-five together with Lions Jonny Hill and Sam Simmonds so this is limiting our options.

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“They as a group are not delivering and if I was an opposition coach, I would be saying that we are vulnerable so next week’s trip to Sale will be interesting.

“We certainly played better than last week at Leicester as we started with a real desire but we made multiple mistakes and they all add up.

“It killed our momentum and momentum went over to them as there were some pretty poor mistakes which included a couple of missed tackles.

“We have had a pretty positive chat in the changing rooms and a few of the senior players spoke up so that is a good sign.

“It’s not the end of the world losing by two points to a team who won last week but we need to get our heads down and work hard to eradicate our mistakes.”

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'I have to feel for Rob' - Boyd expresses sympathy for Exeter counterpart

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