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Exeter out to prove they belong

Sun, 15 Dec 2013 12:50
Donarmandtoulon Davidsmithexeterchiefstry Alexispalissonexeterchiefs
We want to be in these big games
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Exeter Chiefs boss Rob Baxter pledged his side will go flat out in their final two European Cup pool matches despite the bitter disappointment of losing back-to-back games against reigning champions Toulon.

Their 20-32 defeat at Stade Mayol on Saturday followed their narrow 9-14 loss at Sandy Park a week earlier and effectively put them out of the running for a quarterfinal place. They now face Glasgow Warriors and Cardiff Blues to finish off the pool stage.

"To give this competition the credit that it should have, we have to go absolutely flat out in our next two games.

“Toulon and Cardiff are the two teams in control of the pool, the only way we can justify us taking part in the competition is going absolutely flat out when we play Cardiff," said Baxter.

"We'll want to win the game, that's the way any team should approach the competition. We like the European Cup, we like the experience it gives to our players, it's been a great tour for developing the way we play and increasing the intensity of our game.

"The reality is that we had quite a few opportunities early in the game. We could have scored two more tries but we didn't make the final passes.

"And when Toulon got those opportunities they actually made those passes. I think that was the main difference between the two teams.

"This is a fantastic place to come and play rugby. The Toulon supporters have been outstanding, that's what playing European rugby is about.

“The atmosphere here is very, very good and, for us bringing the number of fans we brought, shows the best of the team.

"As a supporter you are very comfortable to come and watch because as a team we give it everything we've got.

“We try to score tries and I would hope that not too many of our supporters go away disappointed because we've given an awful lot to that game.

"We want to be in these big games. As a team and a club we're learning all the time from games like that one. We have to be involved in them to experience things and move forward.

"From our perspective we can only stay focused on ourselves. We have to look at the opportunities we missed, at some of the defensive lapses that gave a couple of tries.

“I will always make sure that the opposition gets their credit, Toulon were probably a bit more clinical than we were - that's how you become European champions."

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