Sport Rugby

Monday 9 December 2019

Booth hails exeter effort

AVIVA PREMIERSHIP newcomers Exeter impressed London Irish coach Toby Booth, whose side edged a victory in Saturday's clash at Sandy Park.

The Exiles won 12-9 to remain top of the standings, but after the contest Booth praised Exeter's organisation.

"It was a game of two halves -- they won the first, we won the second," he said. "I was really impressed with Exeter: they were well organised, well coached and very committed."

In the second half, the Chiefs failed to take advantage of Irish losing Delon Armitage to the sin-bin for a high tackle, mainly due to the fact that Exeter's line-out fell apart.

Booth continued: "Our line-out grew much stronger. We used our experience to get us home."

But he is not taking Irish's position for granted, saying: "We are still learning -- we have a long way to go. The last three seasons we've been near the top of the league at Christmas but have fallen away so it's important we maintain the momentum."

Exeter's Rob Baxter also referred to his side's line-out problems. "It was comfortably our worst line-out performance of the season but all credit to Irish as they are very strong in that department," he said.

However, Baxter was far from despondent, adding: "I was pleased with our overall performance.

"Our work ethic and endeavour was there in spades but I'm a little disappointed. There were too many unforced errors, but not many sides will stop Irish from scoring a try in 80 minutes of rugby."

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