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Poor decision-making and errors proved costly for Exeter in defeat to Saints, says head coach Baxter

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: January 07, 2013

  • Centre Sireli Naqelevuki was a try-scorer for Exeter Chiefs, despite Luther Burrell’s best efforts to stop him for Northampton on Saturday. Picture: Mat Mingo/Pinnacle

  • Saints' Jim Mallinder

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Exeter Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter blamed some poor decision-making for his side's 30-19 Aviva Premiership defeat to Northampton Saints.

Chiefs' only try came through Sireli Naqelevuki, with a further 14 points coming from the kicking boots of Gareth Steenson and Ignacio Mieres.

However, Baxter feels his side should have opted for a more varied approach against Saints.

He said: "You are always disappointed when you lose a game.

"The bigger disappointment was that we were in it for large parts of the game but didn't appreciate the pressure we put on them.

"When there was a four-point lead three or four times in the game, there was plenty of time on the clock and we were the team that was playing. But we almost played until we made the error.

"We played to halfway line plenty of times and created a lot of space for us to kick into and we never really took those opportunities.

"We are aiming to become that team that can flick a switch between being a team that wants to attack, be ambitious and break down opposition but can make the right decision.

"That has always been the battle for us since we came into the Premiership.

"Being the complete side is what it is all about and Northampton did that better than us."

Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder hailed an "important" win as they outscored their hosts by three tries to one to move back into the top four.

Mallinder said: "This win was important because it has put us back in to the mix and with the next four games being non-league, in terms of Heineken Cup and the LV= Cup, it leaves us in a decent position.

"But you want to be in the top four come the end of the season, so I can still see that there is going to be a lot of changes before then."

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