Exeter Chiefs scrums hit by absentees - Rob Baxter

Exeter Chiefs
Exeter Chiefs suffered their biggest ever Premiership defeat at Northampton

Exeter Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter says his forwards have struggled to practise their scrummaging because of a lack of personnel.

Injuries and international calls have deprived the Chiefs of key forwards including Craig Mitchell, Chris Budgen, Peter Short and Hoani Tui.

"For three or four weeks we haven't been able to practice very much," Baxter told BBC Radio Devon.

"We haven't been able to get the boys out on the paddock with enough bodies."

Exeter's scrum struggled in the 33-3 defeat to Northampton, but Baxter refused to blame the injuries affecting his side.

"The guys we brought in are good players and they've played Premiership rugby before," he said.

Baxter said his side must not dwell on the loss at Franklins Gardens, which was their biggest-ever defeat in the Premiership.

"Fair play to Northampton, they came at us hard in the opening period of the game and it set the tone for a fair bit of the match.

"Ultimately if we'd have played the first half like the second half it would have been a relatively interesting game, we controlled a lot more territory in the second half.

"What we didn't do was really put them under enough pressure to question themselves and the start to the season they've had," Baxter added.