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Leinster defeat shows we’re still learning our lesson in Europe – Rob Baxter

(Photo: Getty Images)

By Adam Ellis

Exeter Chiefs director of rugby Rob Baxter has stressed that his side still have plenty of work to do to become a force in European competition after their 8-18 defeat to Leinster.

Speaking after the Irish province became the first side to defeat the Chiefs at Sandy Park in a year, Baxter said that for all the strides made in the domestic league their pursuit of success in Europe was still in its learning curve.

“Today (Sunday) we were very competitive for long periods and anyone who watched that game, especially when it was 8-8 in the second half, knew that the game was there for one of the teams to take hold of it by the scruff of the neck. Rather than us do that, we let Leinster do it. Partly that came through good play by them and partly it was by us doing some pretty basic errors.

After recording two victories from their first two matches in this year’s Champions Cup, Baxter added that it was natural to want success in Europe after their winning Premiership silverware in May.

“Although we have won Premiership final and we got to another, the European thing is still is a big learn for us,” said Baxter. “To go and win the first two European games this season is a step forward for us.

After wins over Glasgow and Montpellier, Exeter will look to regain their momentum in the return tie against Leinster this week.

Baxter commented: “The challenge this week is to now try and improve our performance, more than Leinster can improve their performance.

“We are not in any doubt we can play better than that, just purely through catching and kicking the ball better, and alongside a couple of other things around the set-piece and a couple of things around our five-metre pressure, I’m pretty comfortable.

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