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'I said to the players that they probably made me a bit disappointed... I know we are better than that'


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Exeter boss Rob Baxter did not hide his disappointment after seeing the Chiefs suffer a 34-18 Gallagher Premiership defeat against Gloucester at Kingsholm.


Baxter made 11 changes to the team that beat Leicester last weekend, with four players making their first Premiership starts.

The Chiefs face Heineken Champions Cup last-16 opponents Lyon next Saturday, then a possible home quarter-final with Leinster, which undoubtedly influenced selection.

But it proved a frustrating experience for Baxter as Gloucester ended his side’s three-match winning run in bonus-point fashion.

“I said to the players that they probably made me a bit disappointed with the first-half performance, and then to see us drop away in the second-half, I know we are better than that,” he said.

“We had some heroic moments, but the reality is that as much we love heroics as rugby coaches, the problem with them is they’ve come because we are doing something wrong.

“If we are having to chase back and make last-ditch tackles, then it is going wrong somewhere else, and I thought in the end we just couldn’t keep that level of last-ditch play up.


“That is a little frustrating. Yes, I understand the scenario, yes, I made changes, but as I said to the players ‘well done, you have worked hard, but we haven’t won a game of rugby’.

“The reality is we are double champions and our standards have got to be very high if we want to maintain that place within the game.

“Any game is about how you step forward and how you move on. I don’t think there is anything wrong with being disappointed.


“My job is when it’s tough, to be even tougher, and that’s what it feels I have got to be like tonight.”

Gloucester recorded only their fourth Premiership victory of the season, prevailing through hooker Henry Walker’s try double, a Charlie Chapman touchdown and late penalty try that secured a bonus point, while fly-half George Barton kicked 12 points.

Full-back Josh Hodge and flanker Don Armand scored tries for the Chiefs, while Harvey Skinner kicked two penalties and a conversion.

Gloucester head coach George Skivington said: “We are building nicely. There are loads of positives.

“There has been a core group of lads working extremely hard over the last couple of months, and the boys are getting good at managing scenarios in games.

“We have been close to delivering that sort of result a couple of times, and we have fallen short.

“We have addressed that and talked about it, and I thought we finished the game off in style tonight.

“We have got young Gloucester players on the field, they are getting exposed, they are getting experience. It’s great to see.”


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