Rob Baxter demands Exeter improvement in the Aviva Premiership final

Last Updated May 20 2018, 15:42Rugby Union
Exeter coach Rob Baxter
Exeter coach Rob Baxter

Rob Baxter is demanding an improved performance compared to those produced on Exeter's last two Twickenham trips as the champions prepare to face Saracens in next Saturday's Aviva Premiership final.

The game is a repeat of the 2016 final, which Saracens won 28-20, while Exeter return to defend a title they clinched following an extra-time triumph against Wasps last season.

An Exeter victory would see them become only the fourth club after Saracens, Leicester and Wasps to successfully defend Premiership silverware since the competition began 20 years ago.

And the form guide has so far held, with this season's top two clubs after the regular 22-game Premiership campaign now going head to head.

"Personally, I think an Exeter versus Saracens final is a very good final," Chiefs rugby director Baxter said.

"It probably drives the merits of finishing first and second in the league - the two home semi-finalists in the final.

"For a lot of reasons, it could make a really good final.

"I wouldn't say we go there expecting to win. We go there with an expectation of we know we can play well there.

"Two years ago, we lost by eight points after not starting well, and last year we came up with a win with an improved performance.

"I would like to think what we are aiming for is an improved performance on last year.

"For me, we have got to go there with an expectation that we will play better than in the last two finals, because that is what you should do as a team."

Exeter brushed aside play-off debutants Newcastle 36-5 at Sandy Park, with fly-half prospect Joe Simmonds kicking 19 points and Nic White, Olly Woodburn and Don Armand scoring tries.

The Chiefs remain unbeaten in all competitions since mid-February, setting up a heavyweight showdown against a Saracens side through to a fourth Premiership final in the past five seasons.

Baxter added: "We went into the (Newcastle) game with some definite goals of what we wanted to achieve, and the players worked very hard to achieve them.

"The lads will have a bit of time to get themselves refreshed and ready for training on Monday, and a lot of what we have got to prepare for is the style of play we want to adapt against Saracens.

"We have done OK against them. We have beaten them twice in the Premiership this season, albeit with probably a different side to what they are putting out now.

"We always like to think we are very competitive against Saracens, and we would like to think we will be again."

Related rugby union links

Most Read

Ben Linfoot has big-priced selections for the action at Royal Ascot1

Value Bet: Dubhe can be king

Ben Linfoot picked out 18/1 Royal Hunt Cup winner Settle For Bay on Wednesday and he's backing four at big prices on Thursday including two trained by Aidan O'Brien.

Argentina are backed for victory as part of our tips for Thursday's World Cup action2

Thursday's World Cup tips

Our football team look at Thursday's action in the World Cup - where Argentina will be aiming for a better result in Group D.

The Queen congratulates Ryan Moore after the Gold Cup3

Thursday's racing preview

Anita Chambers looks ahead to an action-packed Gold Cup day at Royal Ascot and fancied order to be restored in the feature event.

Simon Holt has selected his best bets for the action at Royal Ascot4

Simon Holt: Go Wild at Ascot

Wild Illusion is a good thing in the Ribblesdale Stakes, according to Simon Holt - check out his best bets for day three at Royal Ascot.

Jack Grealish: The Aston Villa man is wanted by a number of Premier League clubs5

Thursday's Paper Talk

Liverpool have entered the race to sign Jack Grealish while Ruben Loftus-Cheek could leave Chelsea, according to today's papers.

Most Read

Ben Linfoot has big-priced selections for the action at Royal Ascot1

Value Bet: Dubhe can be king

Ben Linfoot picked out 18/1 Royal Hunt Cup winner Settle For Bay on Wednesday and he's backing four at big prices on Thursday including two trained by Aidan O'Brien.

Argentina are backed for victory as part of our tips for Thursday's World Cup action2

Thursday's World Cup tips

Our football team look at Thursday's action in the World Cup - where Argentina will be aiming for a better result in Group D.

The Queen congratulates Ryan Moore after the Gold Cup3

Thursday's racing preview

Anita Chambers looks ahead to an action-packed Gold Cup day at Royal Ascot and fancied order to be restored in the feature event.

Simon Holt has selected his best bets for the action at Royal Ascot4

Simon Holt: Go Wild at Ascot

Wild Illusion is a good thing in the Ribblesdale Stakes, according to Simon Holt - check out his best bets for day three at Royal Ascot.

Jack Grealish: The Aston Villa man is wanted by a number of Premier League clubs5

Thursday's Paper Talk

Liverpool have entered the race to sign Jack Grealish while Ruben Loftus-Cheek could leave Chelsea, according to today's papers.

Racing Tips

Scroll down for all of our team's best bets for today's action at Royal Ascot

Royal Ascot Thursday tips

An at-a-glance guide to our team of experts' best bets for day three of Royal Ascot, featuring Ben Linfoot, Simon Holt and Oli Bell.

Oli Bell has a Yankee for today's action at Royal Ascot

Oli Bell: Royal Ascot Yankee

Oli Bell expects Wes Ward to open his 2018 Royal Ascot account today - check out the ITV Racing presenter's recommended day three Yankee.

Crack On Crack On wins at Haydock

Mike Cattermole: Day three tips

Mike Cattermole dusts himself down after a tough two days and backs Godolphin to add to their tally with a Royal Ascot double on day three.

Next Race Off
11:45 Vaal
4
(16)
Tricia
J: Paulas Jevu
2
(2)
Generoso
J: Thomas Ncume
1
(4)
One Dollar Massage
J: Siyabonga B Mthembu

Football Tips

Argentina are backed for victory as part of our tips for Thursday's World Cup action

Thursday's World Cup tips

Our football team look at Thursday's action in the World Cup - where Argentina will be aiming for a better result in Group D.

Check out our outright tips for the World Cup

World Cup: Outright tips

Five-time winners Brazil are given the confident selection for World Cup glory as Matt Brocklebank takes a look at the outright betting market.

We assess the Golden Boot market ahead of the 2018 World Cup

World Cup 2018: Golden Boot tips

Matt Brocklebank is backing a couple of PSG stars to shine at the World Cup, with two 33/1 Golden Boot bets.