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'It doesn't feel like a blood and guts loss, it feels like a pretty poor loss'

Rob Baxter says Exeter lacked intensity against Irish

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Rob Baxter is already looking forward to Friday night’s clash with Gloucester when Exeter will be determined to make amends for a conclusive 33-21 defeat by London Irish.


The Exiles registered their first victory of the Gallagher Premiership season in the round-six collision and departed Devon as worthy winners having never trailed.

But Exeter helped them to a maiden triumph since March with an erratic performance that was missing an edge and coughed up some soft tries.

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Chris Robshaw on Marcus Smith
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“We were lacking something. Rugby’s a good game in a lot of ways in that you win the games you deserve to win and lose the games you deserve to lose,” director of rugby Baxter said.

“That’s exactly what it feels like now. It doesn’t feel like a blood and guts loss, it feels like a pretty poor loss.

“Individually our intensity was off and because of that our team intensity was off, so you get a result like that.

“We weren’t on our toes and that hunger to fight for our try-line… it’s a funny thing. It’s clear right here and now that the consistency of our mental approach to the game is our biggest problem.


“It’s not a technical thing, but mentally we’re up for a game and down for a game. And then during the game. That wavering up and down is the biggest issue.

“The hardest thing in any sport is finding the motivation to fight all the time and explode into teams.

“It’s a short turnaround until Friday, which is good for us because I’m looking forward to getting back onto the rugby field.

“I don’t want to spend all week thinking about this, I’ll get it analysed and then put it to bed very quickly.”


While it was London Irish’s first success of the season, the result came as no surprise having drawn two matches and accumulated four bonus points until their trip to the two-time Premiership champions.

“It was a big win but we’ve been close before this but didn’t take our chances at times and given away too many easy moments,” Exiles head coach Les Kiss said.

“We’re happy with this because we know it’s a big ask to come here and beat them. We’re not surprised we could get this result because we’ve been playing pretty well. I’m immensely proud of the effort the boys put in.”


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