Exeter Chiefs director of rugby Rob Baxter has urged his side to “finish the job” and secure a home Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final, after sealing their place in the last eight by winning Pool 2 with a 31-31 draw at Glasgow Warriors in Round 5.
He is concerned that the Chiefs might take things easy against La Rochelle at Sandy Park on Saturday, with the French club out of the qualification equation.
“To get that home draw, everything is still in our hands,” Baxter told the Exeter website. “We’ve done what we needed to do, but now we have to go and finish the job next week.
“La Rochelle, we know, will be tough. Any French side with nothing to lose is danger, danger, danger!
“They will be coming over with no pressure on them at all, so that will make me worry a bit this week.
“Instead, what we have to do is lock ourselves down, make no mistakes and get ourselves in the right mindset to go out and win.”
Congratulations to @ExeterChiefs for securing qualification to the last eight with a game to spare 👏
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) January 11, 2020
Baxter was delighted with the way Exeter overcame a series of hurdles to gain some reward from the trip to Scotland.
“It was a tough week,” he said. “Each day we were seeing a different forward coming in and calling line-outs.
“Losing the likes of Jonny Hill, Dave Dennis, Sam Simmonds, then Don Armand overnight, they are big characters and big boots to fill, yet the guys all stepped up and I can’t give them enough credit for that.
“It wasn’t perfect – and it was frustrating at times – but what I like about us at the moment is that we are really going after teams and staying on the front foot.”