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Exeter 14:00 Harlequins

Rob Baxter says Exeter's heavy loss at Clermont was no disaster

Last Updated: 12/01/13 10:53pm

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Rob Baxter: Clermont are one of the top teams in the event.

Rob Baxter: Clermont are one of the top teams in the event.

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Exeter head coach Rob Baxter says his side will learn from their Heineken Cup thrashing at Clermont Auvergne.

The Chiefs were defeated 46-3 at Stade Marcel Michelin and are now out the of the competition but Baxter was looking for the positives

And the coach was pleased with the way his team took charge for a spell after half-time, although they were unable to turn pressure into any points.

"We had our moments in the game and we didn't quite see them off," he said. "The reality of it is we have come up against a very good side, not only a team with very good individual players, but a team who play a good brand of rugby.

"It's not the big drama some people might think it is. There are some very good teams in the competition and Clermont are certainly one of them.

"I haven't got too many points but there are lessons to learn. In the first half we were playing the scoreboard and not what was in front of us.

"We were noticeably better in the first quarter of the second half. We were getting used to the pace of the game, defensively we were holding things together, and the set-piece was going well.

"I'm a bit disappointed with us crumbling in the final quarter but we were a bit unfortunate.

"We made a substitution and the guy got injured, we picked up another injury in a similar position, and all of a sudden we're trying to defend against a team going for a bonus point with a hooker in the back row, two fly-halves on the pitch and a centre on the wing.

"It's been a real tough lesson for us but there's two ways you take it, you can doubt yourself or you look at fantastic results in the past and move on.

"We have to learn from this and improve, instead of being down on ourselves. There's no instant fixes and we have to take steps."

Exeter face reigning champions Leinster at Sandy Park next Saturday and Baxter added: "I won't have to lift the players at all. They are hurting from Clermont and are a proud bunch who will want to prove a point.

"Clermont is a fantastic place to play rugby and that was one of the most challenging matches we will encounter."

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