Baxter keeping Chiefs focused on themselves ahead of Warriors battle
After the way Exeter Chiefs dismantled Cardiff Blues last weekend, you may be forgiven for thinking Rob Baxter would not feel the need to talk to his players about how best to attack games.
However, the head coach is keen to remind his squad why they were able to run in six tries in the opening 52 minutes against the Welshmen.
Baxter wants to make sure none of his players rest on their laurels after impressive displays against Gloucester and Cardiff this month.
So he has taken the opportunity this week to re-assert the message that they are at their best when they have a go at sides from the first whistle.
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That was not the case against Leicester when they lost against the champions at but it was how they got on top of their opponents in the last two games.
He wants to see the same attitude from his charges when they run out at the Scotstoun Stadium against Glasgow Warriors this Sunday (2pm) in their second Pool Two match in the Heineken Cup.
"I think the thing to focus on is not the result, it's how we want to play," said Baxter. "When we do that, the rest of it looks after itself.
"When we get a bit focused on what we want to get out of the end of the game, as we did against Leicester, we lose our way a little bit.
"When we focus on what's going to happen in the first second of the game and what's everyone's role in how we want to play, we look a decent side."
That focus is what has made the difference in the last two games, according to Baxter.
He added: "The situation we'd got ourselves into by half-time in the Leicester game meant there was relatively little value in us worrying about the end result, it was about re-establishing the way we wanted to play. We did that at half-time and we've rolled on from that.
"It goes without saying that the players want to win, but the important thing to focus on is what's most likely to make that happen.
"I think we've re-focused ourselves very well in the last two weeks. It doesn't mean it's a foregone conclusion – the thing to do now is re-double your efforts because you know how important it is."
After their opening 44-29 success last weekend, Exeter's three wins in the Heineken Cup so far have all come against Welsh opposition, following home and away wins against the Scarlets last term.
They travel to Scotland this weekend knowing they will have to up their game again as Gregor Townsend's Warriors are unbeaten in the Rabo- Direct Pro12 this season, and will be aiming to bounce back from their defeat in Toulon.
"It's a big challenge and another step up in the Heineken Cup," said Baxter. "Going away is very tough but we've got to look forward to that.
"We've enjoyed going on our travels in cup competitions before and that's what we've got to do – we've got to get there and make sure we're brave and attack the game like we have in the last week or two."
Baxter may have to do without flanker Tom Johnson (head) and prop Carl Rimmer (shoulder) against Glasgow as they were both forced off with injuries last weekend.
However, centre Jason Shoemark should be fit as he only left the field with cramp.
With Wales prop Craig Mitchell also ruled out, Rimmer's absence would leave Baxter with only Honai Tui and Alex Brown as his fit senior tightheads.
Although former Doncaster player Brown has only featured eight times for the Chiefs, Baxter believes he is capable of filling in.
"There's a potential opportunity for Alex Brown to get involved now," he said. "He's had a good run of minutes in the A League and played really well."