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Rob Baxter hopes for flat-out Exeter performance against sturdy Saracens

The coach feels his side, unbeaten in 15 Premiership games, cleared their heads after a bad start to the season and is unfazed by their play-off opponents

When Exeter lost at home to Bath at the end of October they slipped to seventh in the Premiership, the memory of their Twickenham final against Saracens five months earlier fading. Rob Baxter, the head coach who guided them out of the Championship in 2010, was facing perhaps his most testing time since the Chiefs established themselves in the top flight.

“It is easy to say that our bad start was a hangover from the final but that is not how I would describe it,” Baxter says as he prepares for Saturday’s play-off semi-final against Saracens at Sandy Park. “I spoke to the players after we had lost by eight points to a very good team [at Twickenham] and probably went on too much about how well we had done in the season. What I should have said was that we had lost the final and what were we going to do about it.”

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