Oct 21 2012
Exeter head coach Rob Baxter believes learning from this season's Heineken Cup experience is what really matters for his team.
Clermont Auvergne scored 36 unanswered second-half points at Sandy Park to go back to the top of Pool Five as the competition's newcomers surrendered a 12-10 interval lead.
"At half-time I thought we were doing pretty well but I was also sitting there thinking reality-wise are we going to rue missed try-scoring opportunities from the first half and ultimately we did," said Baxter. "I am not going to run away from the fact that lots of what we did in the game was good."
He added: "I had said to the players that we wanted them to brave and that we want them to play from everywhere, making it as much as possible with the ball in hand.
"We did that fantastically well for probably 50 of the 80 minutes but for half an hour there was far too much coming in the other direction.
"When we shake it all down and we will rue the missed tries when we had the momentum. We will also look at how we failed to stop their momentum almost from the start of the second half.
"They are a good side and when they had that momentum, they took the game away from us. They were more clinical than us, we went a little bit soft defensively and we paid the price.
"As far as I am concerned, the Heineken Cup is a massive challenge for us but it is about challenging ourselves and we will be better for it.
"We are going to go after the two Scarlets games in a couple of months time absolutely flat out.
"For us that is what it is all about; it is about experiencing things, learning to be a better side and learning of the teams we play against."