Exeter 30 - 20 Scarlets

Match info: Heineken Cup at Sandy Park

Date: 15/12/2012 KO: 15:40 Att: 9,258

Home team/scorers Scores Away team/scorers

Exeter

TriesWhitten (4) Alcott (16)ConversionsSteenson  (4, 16)PenaltiesSteenson  (8, 40, 61)

30
vs
20

Scarlets

TriesOwens (35) Williams (42)ConversionsThomas (35, 42)PenaltiesThomas (11, 25)

FT (ht: 20-13)

  • Last Updated: December 15 2012, 19:06 GMT

Exeter head coach Rob Baxter is ready to put the Heineken Cup to the back of his mind for the next few weeks after completing the double over Scarlets with 30-20 win at Sandy Park.

Rob Baxter changes focus

Scarlets recovered from 17-3 down to get back on level terms early in the second half, but a late try from James Scaysbrook sealed victory for the Chiefs.

Leinster's losing bonus point in their game at home to Clermont denied Exeter second place in Pool Five, but they could still reach the later stages of the Amlin Challenge Cup while Scarlets' European season is over.

However, Baxter's immediate concern is their upcoming Aviva Premiership matches with west country neighbours Gloucester and Bath.

"The next two Heineken Cup games [away to Clermont and home to Leinster] can go to bed for a while now because we have some very important Premiership rugby to take care of," said Baxter.

"If we don't take care of that we would be in danger of letting the season fall flat a little because we were are in a nice place now, ticking along quite well but showing some consistency and improvement in some areas but getting a little dented in others.

"But as long as we keep fighting to take those steps forward then I will be very happy. We have backed up a win in the Heineken Cup with a second win and this was our first in front of our own supporters.

"I am confident that we can play better, which I have said to the players is a nice place to be in.

"There was a lot of endeavour out there and a lot of hard work. Sometimes you just have to graft your way through to a win and that is what we did."

Exeter went into the break 20-13 ahead after tries from centre Ian Whitten and hooker Simon Alcott, with fly-half Gareth Steenson converting both and adding two of his three penalty attempts.

Hooker Ken Owens crossed for the visitors only try of the half which fly-half Aled Thomas converted as well as landing two penalties.

The visitors were then back on level terms early in the second half with a try from Scott Williams converted by Thomas, but Steenson nudged them back in front with a penalty before converting skipper James Scayesbrook's late touchdown.

Baxter added: "We got off to a flying start playing some good pressure rugby, good hard carries, good positional kicking, pressure in the set piece and pressuring their kickers.

"We got in some good positions which we got one very good try from and from pressure we created a second.

"We were on form then and playing to a very strong game plan but then went a little off plan, but we tend to do that when we get a lead and get excited."

This was the first of five games on the road for Scarlets, and head coach Simon Easterby knows they must find some improvement in the way they start games before they face Cardiff Blues on Friday night.

Easterby said: "The game got away from us in the opening 20 minutes and you can't give any team two soft tries but that is what we did.

"The charge down was one which they didn't have to work for and then they scored off a set piece.

"When you gift them 12 points in the first half then it is always going to be an uphill struggle, and we did that last week as well when they got into an early lead.

"Our defence on the whole was good and we came back well in the second half. But when you give sides soft tries it is difficult to take that.

"I can't really put my finger on why we started slowly and we have had a couple of them recently. I think it needs to be addressed before we go in to the Blues match."


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