Baxter apologises to Exeter fans after Sale thrashing
April 20, 2014
Exeter were left grasping at thin air as Sale ran in eight tries © Getty Images
Exeter Chiefs boss Rob Baxter has apologised to the club's supporters after their 55-12 hammering at the hands of Sale Sharks on Saturday.
Sale ran in eight tries in Sandy Park and what looked pre-match as a game that was likely to be decided by a small margin, the Sharks came away with a resounding win that cemented their spot in next season's European Rugby Champions Cup in the process.
Exeter have won just one from four since their LV= Cup final win and although they were without a few of their first-choice forwards for Saturday's game, Baxter admitted the thrashing from Sale was a "humbling experience".
"We let our supporters down today and I would like to apologise to each and every one of them, because I thought we were poor," Baxter said. "It is not what they pay to expect, and it is certainly not how I want the team to be, and not how I expect we should be rewarding the supporters we have got, because we have got some fantastic supporters, and I don't feel we have done them proud at all today.
"I am not going to stand here and say I know all the answers, and ultimately a lot of that's got to come down to me really, because how the team goes onto the pitch and the motivation they have is largely a big part of my job, and that is probably what I am most disappointed and frustrated about.
"I've just said to the guys - and I include all the coaching staff in that as well - something wasn't right today and I have to dig deep to find out what it is and look to put it right for the Harlequins game."
Exeter are still in the fight for the all-important seventh spot in the Premiership, a position that will see them go into a play-off with a team from the Top 14 for the last spot in next season's ERCC, but he knows his team must improve if they are to finish the season there.
"There is a seventh spot to get into a top-flight European competition up for grabs, and we are right in the thick of it. We were in possession of seventh spot before today, but we certainly aren't now, and we don't deserve to be either."
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