October 26, 2020

Champions Cup final: Rob Baxter emotional after Exeter Chiefs win

October 17, 2020

Rob Baxter admitted his emotions were "all over the place" after Exeter's thrilling European Champions Cup final victory against Racing 92.

Exeter were crowned kings of Europe for the first time following a 31-27 success at Ashton Gate that saw the teams share eight tries before Chiefs captain Joe Simmonds settled the nerves with an 80th-minute penalty.

There was even a pause before the final whistle following Simmonds' penalty as officials checked whether there was any time left to still be played, but referee Nigel Owens blew and Exeter could celebrate.

"My emotions are all over the place, really," Exeter rugby director Baxter said. "It was a funny game, wasn't it?

"It kind of wasn't an Exeter Chiefs type of game, yet we ended up winning it. We didn't really piece the game together at all, really.

"In some ways, it was some of our poorest attack and poorest defence of the season. The occasion itself was a little bit different to some of the other things we have experienced.

"But when we had to, we saw it through. We won the game by four points on the scoreboard, and that is pretty much what people will ever remember in three or four years' time.

"We've had our first go at a European semi-final and a final, and we've won them both. It is great for this group of players."

A tearful Baxter called his wife Jo at full-time from the pitch after the behind-closed-doors final, and he added: "I'm a bit all over the place.

"I told her I would definitely be home tonight! She was pretty emotional, and it made me a bit emotional.

"We have been together a long time - my whole career - and she has seen the highs and lows. It was a special couple of minutes.

"To start with she was just screaming at me in emotional joy, and then we managed to have a few words and talked about the journey and it was a nice few minutes."

Exeter will complete a domestic and European double - a feat achieved by only three other English clubs - if they beat Wasps in next Saturday's Gallagher Premiership title showdown.

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