Exeter centre Henry Slade insists he and his team-mates are prepared to go to “dark places” in a bid to see off their Aviva Premiership rivals this season.
With three victories from four starts already this season, Slade was again at the heart of Exeter’s latest success story as he helped himself to a maiden Premiership try and two penalties in the Devon club’s 36-13 win over Quins at Sandy Park.
Alongside fellow young gun Sam Hill in the Exeter midfield, the 21-year-old back has enjoyed a stellar start to the 2014/15 campaign, producing a string of impressive on-field displays that have had the pundits purring with a host of compliments.
However, Slade knows it’s very much early doors in terms of the grand plan and says it’s imperative that Rob Baxter’s men continue to dig deep in their pursuit of further points in England’s top flight.
“We obviously went into this first block of games trying to get as many points as possible,” said the Plymouth-born playmaker.
“Right now we’re doing well and hopefully we can continue that over the next few weeks. We’ve got Newcastle this week and we know they are a dangerous team, who can pose you a real threat. They’ve got some big lads, so we’ll have to front up physically again.”
The Chiefs have demonstrated, though, they are willing to mix it with anyone and Slade says the desire to succeed is there for all to see. He views Sunday’s success over Quins as an example of just how hard the team are willing to push themselves in a bid to secure wins.
“We are going to a dark place, knowing it’s hurting them more than it’s hurting us,” he said.
“We’re all willing to give everything out on the pitch and it encourages the boys to keep working hard for one another. As I said, we’re getting the results for that effort and long may it continue.”
He added on his own rugby path: “Last year was very important for a number of us.”
“To get the game time we did really helped to bring us on. Exeter is a perfect club for a young player. You are given your chance but you are not thrown straight into the deep end. You are phased in gradually and it helps develop your confidence. I had no hesitation in agreeing to stay here for another three years. It is a pleasure to be part of things, but I know I still have it all to do.”