Planet Rugby

Steenson credits Chiefs' pack

20th January 2014 07:01


gareth steenson exeter chiefs

Perfect boot: Gareth Steenson

Exeter Chiefs number ten Gareth Steenson was full of praise for his forwards after a tight 19-13 win over Cardiff Blues on Saturday.

Both sides were out of contention to qualify for the knockout stages yet served up a narrow finish in appalling conditions at Arms Park.

Steenson kicked 14 of Exeter's 19 points, with Don Armand's third-minute try setting the Chiefs on their way early on.

"The pack were incredible. That is what we wanted from them and we know what is in them," Steenson told the Western Morning News.

"Their fight was incredible, and their driving and scrummaging was great.

"Every time there was a scrum, you knew there was a 90 per cent chance of getting a penalty, which was great for us, and those guys got us those penalties, and got us the good field positions, and thankfully we got the opportunities to put some points on the board, and we did."

Exeter's success was rare by recent times, having only won one of their last nine matches - a victory over Newcastle Falcons way back before Christmas.

An important Premiership fixture against Northampton Saints is also looming on the horizon on February 8, making momentum for Exeter all the more important.

"We are absolutely delighted with the win, but I think it is more for the fact we haven't won for a long time," added Steenson.

"It is nice to have banged in a result, and to do it on the road as well, and especially in the Heineken Cup, is fantastic for us.

"It is about us getting the results, and we have got that win now and maybe we have got that monkey off our back and we can push on into the rest of the season."

Steenson's attention is now turned towards the LV= Cup, with Exeter currently bottom of Group B but with many players in the squad eager for a game to impress head coach Rob Baxter.

"We will enjoy this win and get ourselves ready for next week," said Steenson.

"I'm not sure what team will be picked, and guys will probably be given another opportunity to put their hands up for selection as we lead into that Premiership game against Northampton.

"We have set a high bar now and hopefully we can push on and get ourselves ready for what is going to be a big end to the season."

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