Exeter Chiefs: Rob Baxter blames 'baggage' on Clermont defeat

Clermont v Exeter
Exeter conceded 83 points in their two pool matches against Clermont

Head coach Rob Baxter says some Exeter players were carrying "baggage" during their 48-26 loss to Clermont which put them out of the European Champions Cup.

The Devon side got to the quarter-final stage last season, but lost four of their six pool games in 2016-17.

"In the first 30 minutes it looked like we could hardly make a tackle," Baxter told BBC Radio Devon.

"For whatever reason we didn't seem to do anything flat out and I think that really put us on the back foot."

Baxter added: "I am disappointed because I have a horrible feeling that too many players turned up with a bit of baggage."

'I cannot believe World Rugby want this'

Exeter, who are third in the Premiership, had England international Ollie Devoto and winger Olly Woodburn sin-binned during the tie in France.

Devoto was yellow-carded for a high tackle, an issue causing debate since new directives were introduced in January, while Woodburn went to the sin-bin after conceding a penalty try while trying to stop a Clermont break.

"Ollie Devoto, well, I cannot believe that is what World Rugby are wanting, for that to be a yellow card," said Baxter. "You're talking about contact that's about a foot off the ground.

"I need to listen to the ref mic and the TMO stuff, but by the bits and pieces we could pick up it seemed like the referee was determined to yellow card Olly Woodburn in the first half.

"There are so many reasons you could find to not make that a penalty try and a yellow card."

Top Stories