Two big games to finish – Steenson

Date published: April 27 2015

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Exeter Chiefs fly-half Gareth Steenson is determined to respond from their defeat to Wasps when they return to Premiership action against Saracens.

With just two rounds remaining, the Devon club are still firmly in the race for the end-of-season play-offs, this despite slipping to a 36-29 negative on Sunday.

That defeat, coupled with Leicester's bonus-point win over bottom club London Welsh 24 hours earlier, saw Rob Baxter's side slip a place to fifth in the table.

However, a late drop-goal from Steenson did ensure they headed home with a bonus point – reward which could yet prove invaluable come the end of May.

Steenson admitted he and his team-mates had been left 'disappointed' with their display at the Ricoh Arena, but insists there is still much to play for in the final two games against Saracens (away) and Sale Sharks (home).

"It's disappointing, we probably let a game slip there because we had opportunities to get a result," said the Irishman. 

"At the end of the season, to come to places like this is tough to get a result.

"We got ourselves back in the game to be three points down and then it's a pressure game situation. Fair play to Wasps, though, they were under a lot of pressure, but it was a great try from Joe Simpson.

"To get away with a bonus point gets ourselves into the top (European) comp next year, so that's key for us. Now we've got a couple of games to try to get ourselves into that top-four spot."

Having moments earlier seen a penalty chance slip wide of the target, Steenson masterfully stepped forward to fire over a sublime drop-goal with the very last kick of the game.

"It was a pretty big kick in the grand scheme of things," said Steenson.

"It was a pity it wasn't the kick before, that's hit my stats a wee bit, but the way the guys went about it at the end, to get that opportunity and the chance to get a bonus point with the drop-goal, I'll take that."

With Exeter set for their first weekend off since the start of the season, Steenson says it's imperative the club use the rest break as the perfect scenario to recharge their batteries ahead of their testing away day at Saracens on Sunday, May 10.

"We've got a few days off now and then we'll be back in at the end of the week," said Steenson. 

"After that we've just got to get ourselves ready for what will two big games to finish.

"We've got to go out and attack it, not be afraid of where we are and simply go after it. That is the real message we are trying to get across – not to be afraid of where we are – but more 'let's go and grab something'."

Whatever unfolds in these final few weeks, Steenson – who has been at the club since joining from the Cornish Pirates in 2008 – insists it's been another year of real progress at Sandy Park.

"Again there have been lots of positives," he added. 

"Today's result means we have already equalled our best tally in the Premiership and we've got two games at least still to go. We always talk about being better and if you look at what we've achieved – we've  got to an LV= Final again; got to a European semi-final and we're right in there fighting for a top four spot – it's been great so far. However, we have still got a great chance to get into the top four, so we just have to go after it."

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