Hepher: We are back on track

Date published: October 26 2015

Exeter Chiefs assistant coach Ali Hepher was delighted with his charges' six try rout of London Irish on Saturday. 

Jack Nowell touched down twice as the Chiefs won 38-11 at Sandy Park, their first of the season after a narrow defeat at The Rec on the opening weekend of the season.

Gareth Steenson marked his 150th league appearance with the game's first try and scores from Don Armand, Luke Cowan-Dickie, James Short to add to Nowell's double marked a welcome return to Sandy Park for the hosts.

And with the Chiefs forwards putting in a fantastic shift, paving the way for a number of their scores, Hepher insists the options his side hold will make for an exciting season ahead. 

"It was important to get back on track at home. We probably let one go last week, and it gets our season up and running so we are really pleased at where we are at," he said.

"There were some good decisions out there – but there is a lot of the game that we can improve as well. It is promising for the future.

"It is tough in games when you get in front and sides in the Premiership come back into the game. London Irish are a good side and they took advantage towards the end. 

"Our forwards had certainly done a good job early doors and that gave us a good platform to get the good win.

"We have good options in midfield which will allow us to look at things through the season. All the boys that have come back from World Cup duty have been chomping at the bit – even Geoff [Parling] who played a lot of minutes.

"He's been ready all week to play and as it is a new club to him, he wants to make his mark. All the lads have jumped straight in and they are easy to manage."

London Irish had their moments, Blair Cowan getting their only try of the match after a well-executed catch and drive from a line-out but it was his side's defence that gave new head coach Tom Coventry cause for optimism despite shipping six tries. 

"We were disappointing and I thought that Exeter were great. I thought that they were physical, expansive and played a proud performance while we were poor in stages," he said. 

"There were times under the goalposts when we held out, 20 phases I think before they squeezed over. There were glimpses of good times there but we weren't good enough to hang in there – which is disappointing."